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V 



II 





THE SOUTHERNER 



, Walter 

THE SOUTHERNER 

A NOVEL 

BEING THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF 

NICHOLAS WORTH 




NEW YORK 

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY 
1909 



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION 
INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN 

COPYRIGHT, 1906, BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & COMPANY 

COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY DOUBLED AY, PAGE & COMPANY 
PUBLISHED, SEPTEMBER, 1909 



fis 



CONTENTS 



L The Fringe of War ... 3 

II. A Memory of Ebenezer . . . 16 

III. Two Backgrounds of My Life . 24 

IV. The Flower of the South . . 37 

V. My Grandfather's Hope . . 48 

VI. The Effervescence of the Spirit . 58 

VII. The Burial of an Epoch . . 81 

VIII. The Expanding Years ... 89 

IX. My Coming Home . . .108 

X. I See Great Forces . . . 119 

XL My Career Begins .... 136 

XII. My "Withdrawal from the Capital" 151 

XIII. The Relics at St. Peter's . 163 

XIV. On the Altar of a Colonel . .170 
XV. The Harbour of Acropolis . . 182 

XVI. The "White Man" ... 200 

XVII. An Exile from Happiness . . 214 



VI 



THE SOUTHERNER 



CHAPTM PAGE 

XVIII. The Revolt .... 222 

XIX. A Gentleman Fights Fair . . 240 

XX. Storm and Hush . . . 265 

XXI. The Message of the Judge . 279 

XXII. The Election .... 284 

XXIII. With Ulysses by the Sea . . 297 

XXIV. The Builders .... 309 
XXV. The Winged Victory . . . 329 

XXVI. The Governor's Inauguration . 344 

XXVII. The Fortress of Despair . 361 

XXVIII. The Interruptions of History . 367 

XXIX. My Journey to Boston . . 380 

XXX. The Fruits of Victory . . 395 

XXXI. To This High Moment . . 408 

XXXII. Twenty-five Years After . . 417 



THE SOUTHERNER 



THE SOUTHERNER 

CHAPTER I 

THE FRINGE OF WAR 

ONE day when the cotton fields were white and 
the elm leaves were falling, in the soft autumn 
of the Southern climate wherein the sky is fathom- 
lessly clear, the locomotive's whistle blew a much 
longer time than usual as the train approached 
Millworth. It did not stop at so small a station 
except when there was somebody to get off or 
to get on; and so long a blast meant that someone 
was coming. Sam and I ran down the avenue 
of elms to see who it was. Sam was my slave, 
philosopher, and friend. I was ten years old and 
Sam said that he was fourteen. 

There was constant talk about the war. Many 
men of the neighbourhood had gone away some- 
where that was certain; but Sam and I had a 
theory that the war was only a story. We had 
been fooled about old granny Thomas's bringing 
the baby, and long ago we had been fooled also 
about Santa Claus. The war might be another 
such invention, and we sometimes suspected that 



4 THE SOUTHERNER 

it was. But we found out the truth that day, and 
for this reason it is among my clearest early 
recollections. 

For, when the train stopped, they put off a 
big box and gently laid it in the shade of the 
fence. The only man at the station was the man 
who had come to change the mail-bags; and he 
said that this was Billy Morris's coffin and that 
he had been killed in a battle. He asked us to 
stay with it till he could send word to Mr. Morris, 
who lived two miles away. The man came back 
presently and leaned against the fence till old 
Mr. Morris arrived, an hour or more later. 

The lint of cotton was on his wagon, for he was 
hauling his crop to the gin when the sad news 
reached him; and he came in his shirt sleeves, 
his wife on the wagon seat with him. 

All the neighbourhood gathered at the church, 
a funeral was preached and there was a long 
prayer for our success against "the invaders," 
and Billy Morris was buried. I remember that 
I wept the more because it now seemed to me 
that my doubt about the war had somehow done 
Billy Morris an injustice. 

Old Mrs. Gregory wept more loudly than any- 
body else; and she kept saying, while the service 
was going on, "It'll be my John next." In a 
little while, sure enough, John Gregory's coffin 
was put off the train, as Billy Morris's had been, 



THE FRINGE OF WAR 5 

and I regarded her as a woman gifted with 
prophecy. Other coffins, too, were put off from 
time to time. About the war there could no longer 
be a doubt. And, a little later, its realities and 
horrors came nearer home to us, with swift, deep 
experiences. 

One day my father took me to the camp and 
parade ground ten miles away, near the capital. 
The General and the Governor sat on horses 
and the soldiers marched by them and the band 
played. They were going to ''the front." There 
surely must be a war at the front, I told Sam that 
night. 

Still more coffins were brought home, too, as 
the months and the years passed ; and the women 
of the neighbourhood used to come and spend 
whole days with my mother, sewing for the soldiers. 
So precious became woollen cloth that every rag 
was saved and the threads were unravelled to be 
spun and woven into new fabrics. And they baked 
bread and roasted chickens and sheep and pigs 
and made cakes, all to go to the soldiers at the 
front. 

My father had not gone into the army. He 
was a "Union man" and he did not believe in 
secession. I remember having heard him once 
call it a "foolish enterprise." But he could 
not escape the service of the Confederate Govern- 
ment, if he had wished; and, although he opposed 



6 THE SOUTHERNER 

the war, he did not wish to be regarded by his neigh- 
bours as a "traitor." The Government needed 
the whole product of his little cotton mill, and of 
a thousand more which did not exist. He was, 
therefore, "detailed" to run the mill at its utmost 
capacity and to give its product to the Government. 
He received pay for it, of course, in Confederate 
money; and, when the war ended, there were 
thousands of dollars of these bills in the house. 
My mother made screens of one-hundred-dollar 
bills for the fireplaces in summer. 

I once asked her, years afterwards, why my 
father did not buy something that was imperish- 
able with all this money, while it had a certain 
value land, for instance. 

'Your father would have regarded it as dis- 
honourable to use money in this way which he 
knew would lose its value; for this would have 
been taking advantage of the delusion of his 
neighbours. " 

Thus the thread that the little mill spun went 
to the making of clothes for soldiers and bandages 
for the wounded mitigated human suffering some- 
what, it is now pleasant to think; and thus it hap- 
pened that my father was at home when the noise 
of cannon came. It was in the first soft days of 
spring. There was a battle at Marlborough, 
they said. Would they fight here, too ? The 
slaves were terror-stricken. What was going to 



THE FRINGE OF WAR 7 

happen to them ? Would they be carried off and 
shot ? Old Aunt Maria, the cook, shouted through- 
out the day: 

"Dey say dat de niggers '11 be free. I ain't 
gwine ter have none o' deir freedom, I ain't. May 
de good Lord carry me erway in er chariut o' fire. " 

Officers in gray came to the house all day and 
all night and all the next day. Their horses 
pawed the lawn and ate the bark from the mimosa 
trees. Coming and going, asking for food and 
drink, all talked loudly, their swords clanking, 
and big pistols hung from their saddles. 

Colonel Caldwell, my father's old friend, was 
one of these officers; and he and my father sat 
by the fire a long time that night talking in sad 
excitement. My mother in after years recalled 
their conversation to me. 

My father said that the war ought immediately 
to be ended, that our army ought to give up, that 
there was no chance of success, and that no more 
men ought to be killed. 

"True, true," said Colonel Caldwell, "but 
they are invading our homes. They are despoiling 
and starving the innocent. Shall we tamely 
submit ? Shall we be cowards ? Your own home, 
Worth, may be plundered before another night." 

"As for me," he went on, "even if I were 
relieved of my command on this line of retreat, 
I should not dare be found at home when they 



8 THE SOUTHERNER 

come. That would mean death or capture. 
God knows what will become of my family. My 
wife expects me to call at home to-morrow to tell 
her what to do. I can but ride by and go on. " 

"Sacrificing more men," said my father, "every 
cruel day." 

"Men!" exclaimed the Colonel. "What of it ? 
So long as the conflict goes on, we cannot regard the 
life of a soldier. Its very cheapness is the basis of 
all war. We have become used to death. It is 
better than to go to starve in prison. If I must 
die, let me die fighting." 

"But, after that, what?" my father asked. 
" Even if we could win, the country is dead. That 
is the thought that troubles me the coming 
anarchy. " 

Then the roll of musketry was heard down the 
road. 

"God save you, Caldwell"; and the Colonel 
and his companions rushed to their waiting horses 
and rode away in the moonlight. 

We now all lived in my mother's room. I 
remember that my father sat by the fire with 
his face buried in his hands. The bed had been 
taken from the bedstead and put on the floor, 
because the floor, being below the windows, 
was a safer place from bullets. I was lying on it, 
my brother Charles beside me, and my mother 
held the baby in her arms. 



THE FRINGE OF WAR 9 

I had feverishly heard all that had been said; 
and it seemed to me that the end of the world 
was about to come. The earth rolled toward 
me. In a moment it would crush us all. Then, 
as I held my breath, the great globe became 
light as air and floated away. The feverish 
dream came again and I cried out. My mother 
caressed me. Then she took the baby again 
and sat at the fire by my father, with one hand 
on his knee. 

And soon after daylight the blue-coated cavalry 
of the "Yankees" came down the road. They 
had a little cannon on a horse and they put it on 
the high ground behind our garden and shot a 
ball clean through John Root's shanty, far 
down the road. John's old mother believed the 
rest of her days that when it struck the house 
she was killed and went to heaven. She met 
her husband there, and he told her that they had 
plenty of rations in the army of the Lord and that 
they slept in houses with gold window sashes. 
He had been a carpenter. 

And that night the Union officers occupied 
my father's house. A colonel made his head- 
quarters in the parlor, and he appropriated two 
bedrooms upstairs. But a good deal of work had 
to be done during the afternoon to make them 
comfortable for him; for, before he came, looting 
cavalrymen of his regiment had run their swords 



io THE SOUTHERNER 

through the beds, looking for hidden silver; 
and the hearth had been torn up on the same 
quest. I saw one soldier who had three silver 
'pitchers hanging from his saddle. 

Old George, a lame slave, a simple old man, 
hovered during the day about the back porch, 
to be near the white people, and a Union soldier 
thrust a pistol in his face. 

"Say, old man, tell it quick or I'll blow your 
head off where is everything hidden here?" 

Old George fell on his knees. 

" 'Fore God, Marster, don' shoot a poo* old 
nigger your 'umble sarvant" ; and, in an ashamed, 
frightened way, he led the "bummer" up the 
back stairs to the place in the ceiled wall through 
which many things had been put into the garret 
of the "ell." The soldiers broke into this hiding 
place and found food, and little else. In their 
chagrin they brought out sacks of flour, cut the 
bags and emptied it on the floor through the 
bedrooms and down the stairs. Thus the Colonel 
walked to his bayonetted bed up a stairway 
strewn and packed with flour, and slept in a room 
where the bricks that had been torn from the 
hearth were piled to right and left. 

I slept that night on a trundle bed by my 
mother's, for her room was the only room left for 
the family, and we had all lived there since the 
day before. The dining room and the kitchen 



THE FRINGE OF WAR 11 

were now superfluous, because there was nothing 
more to cook or to eat. 

An army corps built its camp-fires under the 
great oaks and cut their emblems on their trunks, 
where you may see them to this day; and, while 
they were there, the news came one day that Lin- 
coln had been killed. I heard my father and the 
Union General talking about it; and, so solemn 
was their manner, I remember it clearly. The 
news that somebody had been killed had be- 
come so common that more than the usual 
solemnity was required to impress any particular 
death on the mind. 

A week or more after the army corps had gone, 
I drove with my father to the capital one day, 
and almost every mile of the journey we saw a 
blue coat or a gray coat lying by the road, with 
bones or hair protruding the unburied and for- 
gotten of either army. 

Thus I had come to know what war was, and 
death by violence was among the first deep 
impressions made on my mind. My emotions 
must have been violently dealt with and my 
sensibilities blunted or sharpened? Who shall 
say? The wounded and the starved straggled 
home from hospitals and from prisons. There 
was old Mr. Sanford, the shoemaker, come back 
again, with a body so thin and a step so uncertain 
that I expected to see him fall to pieces. Mr. 



12 THE SOUTHERNER 

Larkin and Joe Tatum went on crutches; and I 
saw a man at the post-office one day whose 
cheek and ear had been torn away by a shell. 
Even when Sam and I sat on the river-bank 
fishing, and ought to have been silent lest the fish 
swim away, we told over in low tones the stories 
that we had heard of wounds and of deaths and 
of battles. 

But there was the cheerful gentleness of my 
mother to draw my thoughts to different things. 
I can even now recall many special little plans 
that she made to keep my mind from battles. 
She hid the military cap that I had worn. She 
bought from me my military buttons and put them 
away. She would call me in and tell me pleasant 
stories of her own childhood. She would put 
down her work to make puzzles with me, and she 
read gentle books to me and kept away from me 
all the stories of the war and of death that she 
could. Whatever hardships befell her (and they 
must have been many) she kept a tender manner 
of resignation and of cheerful patience. There 
was a time how long I do not know while 
Aunt Maria was wandering about looking for 
the " freedom" for which she had said she did not 
care, when my mother did the cooking for the 
family; and I remember to have seen her many 
times in the wash-house scrubbing our clothes. 

I have often wondered, and no doubt you have, 



THE FRINGE OF WAR 13 

too, at the deficiencies of the narratives that we 
call history; for, although they tell of what men did 
with governments and with armies, they forget the 
pathetic lack of tender experiences that has ever 
fallen to war-shortened childhood, and the child- 
lessness of women who never had mates because 
the men who would have wed them fell in battle 
in their youth. In histories of this very war I have 
read boasts about the number of men who per- 
ished from a single State! 

After a while the neighbourhood came to life 
again. There were more widows, more sonless 
mothers, more empty sleeves and wooden legs than 
anybody there had ever seen before. But the 
mimosa bloomed, the cotton was planted again, 
and the peach trees blossomed; and the barnyard 
and the stable again became full of life. For, 
when the army marched away, they, too, were as 
silent as an old battlefield. The last hen had 
been caught under the corn-crib by a "Yankee" 
soldier, who had torn his coat in this brave raid. 
Aunt Maria told Sam that all Yankees were 
chicken thieves whether they "brung freedom 



or no.' 



The little cotton mill was again started, for I 
must tell you, in the very beginning, that the 
river ever ran and the mill kept turning; and I 
should be ungrateful if I allowed you to forget 
that on every year, whose events will be told 



i 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

in this book, the cotton bloomed and ripened 
and opened white to the sun; for the ripening of 
the cotton and the running of the river and the 
turning of the mills make the thread not of my 
story only but of the story of our Southern land 
of its institutions, of its misfortunes and of its 
place in the economy of the world; and they will 
make the main threads of its story, I am sure, 
so long as the sun shines on our white fields 
and the rivers run a story that is now rushing 
swiftly into a happier narrative of a broader day. 

The same women who had guided the spindles 
in war-time were again at their tasks they at 
least were left; but the machinery was now old 
and worked ill. Negro men, who had wandered 
a while looking for an invisible " freedom," came 
back and went to work on the farm from force of 
habit. They now received wages and bought 
their own food. That was the only apparent 
difference that freedom had brought them. 

My Aunt Katharine came from the city for a 
visit, my Cousin Margaret with her. Through 
the orchard, out into the newly ploughed ground 
beyond, back over the lawn which was itself bravely 
repairing the hurt done by horses ' hoofs and tent- 
poles, and under the oaks, which bore the scars of 
camp-fires, we two romped and played gentler 
games than camp and battle. One afternoon, 
as our mothers sat on the piazza and saw us come 



THE FRINGE OF WAR 15 

loaded with apple-blossoms, they said something 
(so I afterward learned) about the eternal bloom- 
ing of childhood and of nature how sweet the 
early summer was in spite of the harrying of the 
land by war; for our gorgeous pageant of the 
seasons came on as if the earth had been the home 
of unbroken peace. 



CHAPTER II 

A MEMORY OF EBENEZER 

A^D soon a school opened its doors at Mill- 
worth. There were twenty pupils, I sup- 
pose, some of whom walked a long way, to sit 
all day on benches that were high and stiff and 
hard. A young lady from the Female Seminary, 
whom my Aunt Katharine had commended, 
taught it, I have no doubt, with as great patience 
as inefficiency. 

The school was a very solemn thing, since it 
naturally leaned heavily on religious instruction; 
and Miss Cic'ly Wyatt had a strong faith in 
Sacred History, for which, I dare say, the Seminary 
was to be blamed or commended, as you will. 
One of the text-books, as I yet vividly recall, was 
a Sacred Geography, which took much of our 
time. Palestine was "bounded" day after day, 
and the height of Mt. Pisgah was recited over 
and over again. Where was the grave of Moses ? 
Into what does the River Jordan run ? 

When I asked Sam this question, he replied: 

"She run into de ocean, some 'hers. " 

"No." 

16 



A MEMORY OF EBENEZER 17 

"Don't she run into de ocean nowhar't all?" 

"No." 

"Den it's one er dem mericles." 

If the truth were told, our own little river was 
far more interesting than the Jordan, for it had 
fish in it and there were two boats on the pond; 
but the school, like the war and the church, 
was an institution; and I learned, even at this 
early age, that nobody tells the whole truth about 
institutions. They prefer to accept traditions 
and to repeat respectful formulas. Miss Cic'ly 
herself was interesting when she went fishing or 
rowing, but at school she was professional. 

Yet the school was frivolity itself beside the 
religious "revivals" which were held in country 
churches with especial violence in the late summers 
of those years. As the war strain on the emotions 
was relaxed, religious excitement was, I suppose, 
the most natural exercise for country people 
who had no sports. 

The cotton had been hoed for the last time, 
and the "protracted meetin' " was begun at Eben- 
ezer church, two miles from home. 

The Reverend Abner D. Babb, who "rode the 
circuit" that year, had made the announcement 
the month before that "a meetin' would be held, 
to call for an outpourin' of the Holy Speerit, to the 
conviction of sinners, the reclaimin' of backsliders 
and the sancterfication of the chillun of God. " 



1 8 THE SOUTHERNER 

All the neighbourhood gathered that Sunday, 
and in every buggy and wagon there was a bounti- 
ful dinner. The horses were unhitched and tied 
to the trees. The women went into the church 
and all sat on one side of the house. The men 
gathered in groups outside and exchanged neigh- 
bourhood news till Lewis Sorrell's voice was heard: 

" Am I a sol jer of the cross, 
A fol wer of the lamb?" 

Then the men solemnly marched in. By the 
time the hymn was sung, the congregation was 
seated. Mr. Babb's bald head rose out of the 
old box-pulpit and he read another hymn. After 
that had been sung, he read an awful passage from 
Revelation about the Last Day. 

Still another hymn was sung and the terrifying 
tones of old Lewis's voice, as he shut his eyes and 
bawled along the corduroy tune, were enough to 
frighten the most hardened sinner. He saw a 
vision of the wicked burning in Hell and he 
rejoiced, and he quickened his pace somewhat, 
for he had intimations of the ecstasy that was to 
overcome him an hour later. 

The Reverend Mr. Babb selected as his text a 
sulphurous sentence, and he preached and spat 
himself into a spasm. 

"Amen!" groaned old Lewis at proper inter- 
vals; and Miss Anna Baucomb, the mute of the 
neighbourhood, swayed to and fro. 



A MEMORY OF EBENEZER 19 

"We invite all those who wish to flee the wrath 
to come to kneel at the front seats while the 
congregation sings." 

Little Tillie Downie, a ten-year-old, boo-hoo'd 
in her intense conviction of sin and ran to the 
front bench. 

"Come, my sister, seek peace in the Lord 
the first sinner to seek forgiveness. " The singing 
of the hymn went on. Other children wept and 
rushed forward. 

"There are older and more hardened sinners 
in thy presence, O Lord. Smite 'em with a 
conviction of sin, as with a red-hot iron. Come 
down, Holy Speerit and move 'em!" 

This was too much for Bill Jenkins, the wick- 
edest boy in the neighbourhood. Bill "perfessed" 
at every revival, for he became a backslider in 
good time to pile up a fresh load of sins for the 
next awakening. He knelt and Mr. Babb kindly 
laid his hand on his head. Bill blew his nose 
and sobbed. The hymn dragged on wearily. 

Then the congregation was dismissed for dinner. 
The religious excitement did not weaken appetite. 
Every housewife had her best food Mrs. Person 
her famous pickles and jellies, Mrs. Thomas her 
best spiced and iced cakes, and Mrs. Ellis her 
boiled ham. From buggy to buggy and from 
wagon to wagon calls were made and returned, and 



20 THE SOUTHERNER 

at every one good cooking was praised and famous 
recipes were swapped. A well-fed content with 
life and a natural cheerfulness would soon have 
come over the company, as at a picnic, if old 
Lewis's voice had not broken forth again: 

" Je sus, lov er of my soul " 

The dishes and the baskets were hastily put 
away, and the company marched again into the 
church as to a funeral procession, all the men on 
one side, all the women on the other. Refreshed, 
the Rev. Mr. Babb roared more loudly: 

"Havin' purtaken of nourishment for the 
physical man, we will ask the Speerit of the Mos' 
High to descen' like a dove an' feed us manna 
for our souls." And the rafters rang with his 
prayer. " Bless God, there's grace strong enough 
to move mountains to save us in battle, to 
sway cannon-balls from their courses, and to save 
sinners, even the wust sinners in all this worl'." 

The allusion to cannon-balls frightened old 
Jonas Good 'in, who had been a deserter in war- 
time. He had stood in particular dread of cannon- 
balls. He argued now that, if God had turned one 
from its course and saved him, it was time that 
he made acknowledgment of his obligation. When 
the prayer was ended old Jonas, hairy and heavy, 
arose; he put his quid from his mouth, he wiped 
his beard on his sleeve, and, with a shame-faced 
motion, he went forward to the mourners' bench. 



A MEMORY OF EBENEZER 21 

"The wust sinner can be saved!" shouted old 
Lewis, before he began the next tune; and, 
while the singing went on, the preacher flung 
forth exhortations in a triumphant tone, as much 
as to say, "In the very beginning of the meetin', 
we've bagged the biggest game in the wilderness." 

I remember the hint of a smile that I am sure 
played over my father's face when old Jonas 
walked to the mourners' bench with the manner 
of a captive. 

While the battle against sinners had been waged 
inside the church, Sam had fallen asleep in the 
wagon, guarding the dishes and thinking of what 
he should do when the ' 'vival season" came 
at the Negro church and Aunt Maria should fall 
to shouting. 

When I woke him up, he asked: 

"Did he git you?" 

"Who?" 

"Mars' Jesus at de mou'ners' bench." 

There was an indescribable terror in this violent 
religion for me, and (I suspect) for my mother, 
too. The preacher came home with us, for he 
was in some way remotely akin to us or his 
wife was. He was bald and forbidding. He 
called me "sonny," and he spoke of God as if 
he managed the world for Him. He held family 
prayers, and he prayed so loud that old Aunt 
Maria, who knelt in the hall just outside the 



22 THE SOUTHERNER 

parlour door, began to shout. Sam sneaked away 
to the kitchen in terror. I felt more fright than 
I had felt on the night when the " Yankees " 
came; and I asked my mother if I should go to 
the mourners' bench the next day. 

"Do you want to go, Nick?" 

"No, mother." 

"Well, you stay at home, then." 

But my brother Charlie was sick and gave us 
much concern, and the preacher had prayed so 
long and so loud for his recovery, that I had said 
to God: 

"God, if you will cure my brother Charlie, 
I'll go to the mourners' bench and be snatched 
from the burning." 

It lay heavily on my mind, whether I ought 
not to trust God sufficiently to fulfil my part of 
the bargain first. But, when the next day came, 
I was glad to shift the responsibility to my mother, 
and to stay at home. Yet the terror and the gloom 
of that week, as I heard reports from the meeting, 
I can recall now. I had an impulse to run from 
home till it should end, for there was no school 
while the meeting lasted; and the next week even 
the solemn dullness of Miss Cic'ly's routine was 
a relief. 

But you would fall into error if you supposed 
that even the terrifying preacher permanently 
darkened the cheerful spirit of my boyhood any 



A MEMORY OF EBENEZER 23 

more than it permanently frightened old Jonas 
out of his cowardice and away from his bottle. 
For I had a joyful and mellow place to visit, a 
place that was a sort of shrine, which happily 
was not associated in my mind with the horrors 
either of war or of religion. It was my grand- 
father's plantation, which we called the Old 
Place. 



CHAPTER III 

TWO BACKGROUNDS OF MY LIFE 

NOW, if you would clearly understand the 
story that I am to tell, and the confused 
vision and the groping through the mist (for this 
was a dark time of our country for youth to find 
its way) you must know the background of my 
life. What a medley of experiences go to the 
making of a man! Therefore, I say that, if 
you wish to get the key to my story, you must 
remember that an autobiography is like a gentle- 
man in this that it begins with a grandfather. 
And, as for me, it is surely true that my grand- 
father was the beginning of me. 

He was Nicholas Worth, for whom first my 
father was named, and then I. He was yet hale 
at a very old age. He lived at the Old Place a 
few miles from the state capital (the capital city, 
we called it), and he had lived there all his long 
life, in the very house where he was born. It 
had received additions first on one side, then on 
another, and a "new house," itself now fifty 
years old, had been built and the two houses were 
connected by a porch. The Old Place and the 

24 



TWO BACKGROUNDS OF MY LIFE 25 

old man antedated the State and, of course, the 
capital itself. 

The story was untrue that he had been a 
drummer-boy in the Revolutionary war, for he 
was not born in time. But his father served under 
General Washington; and, after the war, he came 
from an older colonial settlement into this wilder- 
ness, as it was then, where good land could be 
had for the taking; and thus the Old Place came 
to be built by Revolutionary hands. 

And it was a real piece of the past. Later 
wars, even this most desperate latest war between 
the states, had seemed to touch it only lightly. 
True, two sons of the house had been killed; but 
even this ghastly experience had not changed 
the historic relations of the place nor of the man. 
They seemed to belong to the century before. The 
Old Place was the oldest house in the region, the 
old man was the ruling patriarch, and the tradi- 
tions and the flavour and the manner of the old times 
clung so firmly to both that intervening events, 
even tragedies, were easily forgotten. Besides, 
every family had lost sons in this war, and the 
loss of sons conferred no special distinction. 

And the old man had done his thinking before 
the period of secession. He used both idioms 
and premises that had long gone out of fashion. 
He regarded the war as an error. He had lived 
through it as a good sailor goes through a storm. 



26 THE SOUTHERNER 

However strong the wind may blow, he knows 
that, when it passes, the sea will be calm again. 
The old man was too old, as I was too young, 
to take part in the thought or in the fighting of 
the time. We, at least, had been saved from 
danger to body and from the worst distortions 
of mind. If his thought had for a time been 
interrupted, he had taken it up where he had 
left it off, as a man becomes himself again after 
a bad dream. 

As every lucky child has a Great Place to go 
to, the Old Place served this gracious use for me. 
It was ten miles away from my father's home, 
and the drives between them had been my chief 
journeyings. The Old Place was the background 
of my life, therefore, a sort of home back of my 
own home. The visits that I had made there 
were the happiest times of my childhood, for I 
felt that all things were stable there. The mel- 
lowness of the place, the ripened wisdom of the 
old man, the cool quiet of the library were parts 
of the foundation of things; the garden with box- 
hedges and beds of sage and thyme and a row of 
fig trees by the fence -- the odours of these have 
made my memory of the place savoury and pleasing 
through whatever barren stretches I have traveled 
in any period of my life. Plenty and Welcome, 
too, had their abode there, even during the days 
of severest privation. 



TWO BACKGROUNDS OF MY LIFE 27 

The slave quarters were still kept, most of 
them, by the same families of Negroes that had 
lived there in bondage. My grandfather's espe- 
cial servant, Uncle Ephraim, had not been away 
in search of freedom at all, for no one could think 
of the old master without Ephraim, nor of Ephraim 
without his old master. They had for a long 
generation been the embodied wisdom for big 
house and quarters. Each had the habit of 
talking to the other even when the other was out 
of hearing. When my grandfather would rouse 
himself from a nap on the piazza, he would ask, 
"What d'you think of that, Ephraim?" even if 
Ephraim were a mile away; and Ephraim used 
to mutter to himself, as he walked alone to the 
stable or to his cabin, "Yes, old marster, I 'grees 
wid yer. " 

It was our habit to visit the old man before 
any important enterprise was undertaken; and 
now the time was come when I was to go to the 
famous Graham boarding-school, and I went to 
bid him good-bye. 

This was the school where the sons of generals 
and of colonels and of other gentlemen were 
trained under military discipline, made severer 
now by the grim memory of Stonewall Jackson, 
under whom Colonel Graham had served and 
whose spirit he revered as his knights their lord, 
King Arthur. 



28 THE SOUTHERNER 

I found my grandfather eager to discover my 
expectations and ambitions, and he asked me 
many questions, making smiling test of my readi- 
ness to answer difficult ones. 

For the saddest and vividest of reasons, even 
the little incidents of that particular day, stay 
in my memory yet. I recall my grandfather's 
manner when he asked: 

"My son, do you write a fair script?'* 

I sat down at his secretary and wrote a line 
for him that I recalled from a copy-book and I 
wrote my name under it "Nidi's Worth III." 

"Not that way," said he, and he took his quill 
and wrote "Nicholas Worth." 

"Spell it out." His "script" was like George 
Washington's, now become a little tremulous, 
but still strong and clear. 

Write fair script, sit your horse erect, do not 
pull the trigger till your aim is clear -- these were 
maxims that fixed themselves in my mind that 
day. For he had me mount my horse and ride 
for him; and, when one of my cousins and I shot 
at a target behind the garden, he walked there 
to see how well we did it. 

After an early supper I bade my grandfather 
"far'well" (he always said far'well); and he 
reminded me that some day I should be the head 
of the family. 

"Dat's so," said Uncle Ephraim, "for Mars' 



TWO BACKGROUNDS OF MY LIFE 29 

Nick, he is de oPest, and Mars' Littlenick is de 
ol'est in de line." 

"Far Veil, my son; I shall hear good reports 
of you be sure. Far 'well. " 

"Mars' Littlenick gwine t' sen' good 'ports, 
you be boun', oF Marster. He's de smartest 
of 'em all. He ain't done name' fur you and 
Mars' Nick bof, fur nothin'." 

My aunt Eliza, who had been the mistress of 
the Old Place since my grandmother's death, 
wished me a safe ride home, and Uncle Ephraim 
assured me that the moon would not go down 
till midnight. " Mighty good night for 'possums, " 
he remarked; and I rode home in the cool of 
the evening. Most of the road lay through wood- 
land. The cabins that stood here and there were 
lighted chiefly by pine knots, which gave a cheer- 
ful glow, and a fice now and then ran out and 
barked till I was beyond its hearing. Now and 
then, too, a hog would run from a fence corner 
with a sudden grunt which startled me to tighten 
my grip on the reins. 

It was a beautiful night with moonlight shadows 
of the pines across the road and with dense, dark 
places here and there through which I galloped. 
It is just as well to pass deep shadows as fast 
as you can not from fear, of course, but because 
we are children of light. 

The night and the earth and the pine forest 



30 THE SOUTHERNER 

when you come in direct contact with all these 
at once, you feel yourself akin to fundamental 
things, especially if you are a boy and your alert 
imagination is quickened by every sound and 
perfume. And you will carry the odour of the 
earth and of the trees in your memory at what- 
ever distance you may live from them and how- 
ever many years thereafter. Go into the woods 
at night now, if you are old, and you will be 
likely to recall a road and a wood that gave forth 
the same odours half a century ago; and you may 
even conjure up some particular night and recall 
with distinctness all that happened then. You 
may call back old friends that you had half for- 
gotten ; for the memory of those whose childhood 
was spent on the soil likes to make its return 
circuit on the ground. 

And so I rode on, over the bridge beside which 
the mill-dam roared, then up the steep hill, and 
at last I came into the main road. I quickened 
my pace for fear my mother might be uneasy 
about me, and in a little while I was near the 
public well by old Jonas Good'in's. As I galloped 
around the short turn in the road there, my horse 
snorted and stopped and began to rear. In front 
of me was a company of horsemen in white, with 
white cloths over their horses a little army of 
them, it seemed to me. I coaxed my horse 
nearer. 



TWO BACKGROUNDS OF MY LIFE 31 

"Ku-Klux," said I to myself. Although my 
pulse beat somewhat more quickly, I knew that 
they would do no harm to me if I rode on. Besides, 
why should I run ? 

A deep-voiced member of the clan dismounted 
and said: 

"Your horse don't like us, young fellow. Has 
he been doin' any deviltry?" And he led him 
along by the bridle. 

There was a Negro man drawing water at the 
well with all his might, and a group of white, 
masked figures stood about him. 

"I want a hundred more gallons to fill me up," 
said one of them. "It was hot in hell to-day and 
I got thirsty. Hurry up, old man. " 

"Say, young fellow, do you know of any niggers 
that need attention?" another gruff voice asked. 
My horse by this time had passed the group and 
ran as if the whole clan were chasing us. 

I fear to omit this unexciting single experience 
of my life with the Ku-Klux Klan; for my whole 
story might be discredited if I had no encounter 
with them at all. And many a time these many 
years I have had occasion to think of the romances 
and the political tracts and the political speeches 
that abler men than I would have made out of 
even this encounter. But a truthful record like 
this can make nothing more of the incident than 
the report, which was spread the next day, that 



32 THE SOUTHERNER 

they flogged an old Negro in the neighbourhood 
whom they frightened into a confession of having 
stolen a pig. I can only express regret that it was 
not at least a mule that he had stolen, so that my 
own adventure with them might thereby have 
a greater dignity. 

It would be a glorious thing to go to the Graham 
School, for the sons of the best families for a 
hundred years had gone there. I had not sup- 
posed that there was any other school for boys in 
the world that could be compared to it. But 
some doubt crept into my mind during the next 
few days; for Dick Caldwell came to our house 
and he was going to England to school. We 
talked over letters that his father had written 
about this English school; and I wondered whether 
he were the luckiest boy in the world, as I had 
hitherto thought that I was. 

He was going to England because his father 
was now in the Khedive's army in Egypt, and Mrs. 
Caldwell would be sick all her life, they said, and 
must stay where the doctors could see her every 
day. The children had lived with their aunt since 
the father had been gone ; and now, when my father 
had at last found someone to buy Colonel Caldwell 's 
home, the money was to be used or as much 
of it as was necessary --to send Dick and Louise 
to him. Dick was in high glee. 



TWO BACKGROUNDS OF MY LIFE 33 

He was somewhat younger than I, but even 
Sam confessed that he knew many things of which 
we were ignorant. His sister, Louise, was too 
young to take part in our gravest discussion 
of schools and such things, but she was excited 
about the ocean voyage. "And the ship will go 
on and go on and go on, and there'll be no land." 

None of us had ever seen a ship, but Sam's 
imagination seized on the ark: 

"Does a turkle-dove fly out and fin' de Ian' and 
come back an' tell 'em which er way to go ? An' 
how do de dove know?" 

My father went to the city to make arrangements 
for their journey. He had received the money, 
he had their railroad tickets to the big city where 
the ship was loaded with cotton --how we talked 
over every detail of these preparations later! 
They would start the next day; and, since we 
must have an early breakfast to be ready when 
the train came, we were sent to bed early. 

My father said to my mother that night that, 
if he could sell the farm and the mill, he would 
think of going away himself; for life was not yet 
safe even on the highways. These were the 
turbulent after-years of the war. And the camp- 
followers of two armies and many other low 
adventurers from all parts of the United States were 
in the towns, preying on the silly freedman and 
robbing whom they could. 



34 THE SOUTHERNER 

After the moon had gone down --it was one 
o'clock there was a violent rapping at the front 
door. My father got up and, walking into the 
hall, asked who was there. The answer was not 
clear; but presently, after a smothered conversa- 
tion between men on the outside, one said that 
he was an officer of the law who had come from 
the city in search of a criminal, and that he had 
ridden far and was tired and could not go back 
to the city that night would he be permitted 
to stay till morning ? 

When this unsatisfactory explanation was re- 
peated in a confused and contradictory way, my 
father had decided not to go to the door. 

He had by this time with some difficulty found 
in the dark the shot-gun that Dick Caldwell and 
I had shot rabbits with on the day before. 

After another and now more violent demand, 
he refused to admit them. It was a thin double 
door, one part of it opening from the middle on 
either side, and it could be easily broken down. 
There was a transom of glass above it and one on 
either side. 

"Break it down, then," said a voice on the 
outside; and a heavy foot kicked one of the light 
panels and it flew open. The man who kicked it 
stood behind the other panel --that was certain; 
and my father shot through this closed thin panel. 

This surprised the obtruders; but they, in turn, 



TWO BACKGROUNDS OF MY LIFE 35 

shot back into the hall. A great scar in the wood 
of the staircase remained for years which a bullet 
from a carbine made. 

They ran off a little distance and shot back at 
the house several times. Meantime the door was 
open and my father stood in the hall with one 
charge yet in the little double-barrel gun. 
At last he crept toward the door on his way to a 
closet in the front of the hall where there was 
more ammunition. To prevent being seen, he 
closed the door that had been kicked open. In- 
stantly there was a volley fired from the yard. 

My father fired the other barrel of his gun 
through the glass and the men on the outside, 
evidently concluding that there was a strong battery 
within, ran away and fired no more. But, just as 
my father fired his last charge, a ball struck his 
gun and, glancing, entered his head. He died 
instantly. 

There he lay with the gun beside him. My 
mother, with my little sister in her arms and 
Louise Caldwell clinging to her, sat on the floor 
by his body till it seemed safe for me to go, by 
the back door, to the cabins where I found the 
Negroes in terror. They did not know what had 
happened, but Sam had already armed himself 
with an axe. By this time two men, having heard 
the shooting, had come from the mill settlement 
by the river. 



36 THE SOUTHERNER 

The slow breaking of the daylight that morning 
is the loneliest memory of my life. 

My father had outlived the war and a settled 
difference of opinion with most of his friends - 
he had no enemies to die by the shot of a 
burglar who had that day seen him in the city 
receive a roll of money for the journey of the 
children of his friend. 

I did not at once go to the Graham school; 
but half a year later, my mother having herself 
taken the management of the little mill, said in 
her sad, determined way, that my father's plan 
for me must be carried out. It was her plan, too. 

And fortunately the ripening of the cotton and 
the running of the river which turned the mill 
made my going away to school possible, as they 
have shaped most greater events that have come 
in our Southern life since the cotton plant found 
its best home here. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE FLOWER OF THE SOUTH 

THE son of a general, if he were at all a decent 
fellow, had, of course, a higher social rank 
among the boys at the Graham school than the 
son of a colonel. There was some difficulty in 
deciding the exact rank of a judge or of a governor, 
as a father; but the son of a preacher had a fair 
chance of a good social rating, especially of an 
Episcopalian clergyman. A Presbyterian preacher 
came next in rank. 

I was at first at a social disadvantage. My 
father had been a Methodist that was bad 
enough; but he had had no military title at all. 
If it had become known among the boys that he 
had been a " Union man" -I used to shudder 
at the suspicion in which I should be held. And 
the fact that my father had had no military title 
did at last become known; and one day Tom 
Warren, a boy from the " capital city," twitted 
me with this unpleasing fact. In a moment or 
two, we were clinched in a hand-to-hand fight. 
Of course a crowd gathered, and presently Colonel 
Graham himself appeared. 

37 



38 THE SOUTHERNER 

"Stand back and see it done fairly," said he, 
and the boys made the circle wider. 

"What is it about?" 

"He called me a liar, sir," said Tom. 

"Well, no gentleman will take that," said the 
Colonel. 

"I didn't call him a liar, but I do now, and I'll 
choke him, too," and I made a grasp at Tom's 
throat; and we were again a whirling mass of 
swinging arms and dodging heads. 

"Halt!" Instantly we stood and saluted. My 
collar was torn and my face was bleeding from 
Tom's scratches. But we stood erect in silence. 

"Sir," said I. 

"Speak." 

"He cast reflections on my family, sir." 

"What have you to say, Tom?" 

" I said, sir, that his father was not in the war. '' 

"He said my father was a coward, sir." 

Some boy in the crowd cried out, "I'd fight 
at that. " 

"Halt!" cried the Colonel, and we kept from 
clinching again, and again we stood erect, each 
quivering with anger. 

"I see you'll have to fight it out," said the 
Colonel in a moment, "before you feel better. 
Square off. Give them room." 

Then the fight began again. After we had 
scratched and pounded one another and torn one 



THE FLOWER OF THE SOUTH 39 

another's clothes, I at last threw Tom, and the 
Colonel called out, "Halt!" 

We were on our feet in a second. Each saluted. 
We were commanded to shake hands. The 
Colonel explained to the crowd in a sort of orator- 
ical fashion that he had known Mr. Worth, that 
he had given his time and fortune to his country, 
and that there was no better man in any part of 
the Government's service. The incident was 
over. The crowd of boys went away. The 
Colonel went back to his office smiling. I was 
unspeakably grateful to him. 

At his office, which was a wooden shanty at 
one end of the barracks, the Colonel renewed his 
conversation with a gentleman who had come to 
plead for his son's reinstatement in the school. 

"I cannot tell you, sir," he said, "how deeply 
I am grieved. But I cannot argue the subject. 
I fact, I have no power to reinstate your son. I 
could not keep the honour of the school I could 
not even keep the boys, if he were to return. They 
would appeal to their parents and most of them 
would be called home. They are the flower of 
the South, sir." 

This boy had cheated on an examination and had 
been sent home by the first train after his conviction. 

That night, a half hour before taps, when my 
three room-mates were absent, one of my best 
friends came into my room. 



40 THE SOUTHERNER 

" Worth," he asked, "wasn't your father a 
colonel?" 

"No, but he was in the service of the Confed- 
erate Government and he wasn't a coward." 

"I didn't mean that he was a coward. But 
I want to tell you something," and he went on 
in the sad tone in which we speak of great mis- 
fortunes. 'You won't tell anybody, Worth, will 
you ? My father my father isn't a colonel nor 
nothin'. But I swear he isn't a coward. I saw 
him whip a man once. Worth, don't you ever 
tell anybody -- he's a good father to me"; and 
the boy had a sob in his voice. When another 
fellow came into the room, he warmly shook my 
hand since, as he saw it, we had a common 
misfortune and he went away. 

The rough beds were turned down from their 
edges whereon they rested all day against the 
wall of the log room, the poles were drawn that 
held the blankets and the mattresses in place; 
and we four room-mates went to bed. Taps were 
sounded; all lights were out; and the day of my 
first fight with Tom Warren was done. 

The boys said that I had shown my mettle; 
among my friends I had a day or two of some 
little glory; and at the beginning of my second 
year I was made an officer of the battalion, and 
only "brave" boys were chosen as officers. 

Lest you should imagine (and thereby, too, 



THE FLOWER OF THE SOUTH 41 

fall into a grave error) that fighting was the only 
manly art cultivated at the Graham school, you 
must be informed that, between military exercises, 
successful onslaughts were made on Latin and 
mathematics. The master's educational code con- 
tained three laws: 

A boy must have a sound body, and the more 
roughly you use him the sounder his body will 
become and the greater his physical bravery. 

A boy must know Latin or he cannot be a 
gentleman. 

A boy must know mathematics or his mind 
will not be trained. 

And the years swiftly passed at these barracked 
labours, as the years pass swiftly elsewhere at that 
time of life. Our forced growth for we had 
reached the emotional level of manhood while 
we were yet boys gave us rapid development. 

One high day of school life every year was 
the parade-day of the battalion at the State Fair. 
The cadets wore their new gray uniforms of the 
same colour as the tattered coats in which their 
fathers and kinsmen had fought on Virginian 
battlefields. And, on this particular year, the 
second year of my cadetship, it was a greater 
day than usual, for a bust of Stonewall Jackson 
was to be presented to Colonel Graham. Colonel 
Flint, a veteran of great oratorical power, who 
also had served under General Jackson, was to 



42 THE SOUTHERNER 

make the presentation address; and all the Con- 
federate veterans within reach had been invited. 
They came from every part of the land, many 
with ahnless sleeves, many on crutches, most 
of them in well-worn, and many in ragged, gray 
uniforms, in battered hats and caps, and some 
with remnants of flags. They were the saddest 
relics of a brave army, I imagine, that were ever 
seen; for most of them were now but wrecks of 
men. Years of exposure, of ill-fed fighting, 
for some of them years of prison life, and years 
of neglected wounds and injuries since, years of 
poverty, too, and years of political oppression - 
these men had borne the physical scourging of 
the nation for its error of slavery. 

They had borne it innocently, too, for they 
were plain countrymen who were blameless vic- 
tims of our sectional wrath. But they had borne 
it also recklessly. They had looked on death - 
had lived with it, indeed; and they had miracu- 
lously survived and crawled to barren homes 
from the clash and slaughter and from starvation 
and such deadly vain endeavour as no other men 
had ever known and lived; and now a brief 
period was left them to muse on their great adven- 
ture, which so filled their minds that thought 
on other things was impossible. 

The little bust was covered and placed on a 
pedestal which stood on a platform under the 



THE FLOWER OF THE SOUTH 43 

trees in the fairground this beautiful October 
day; and the battalion of cadets stood as a guard 
of honour about it, in their shining new uniforms. 

A bugle was sounded and a drum was heard, 
and the veterans formed in line at a distance, to 
march to the benches that had been reserved 
for them next the standing cadets. A vast crowd 
filled the few seats farther away and stood all 
round about. 

When the bugle sounded, a mighty shout went 
up. It was a yell that became a roar, and the 
crowd took it up, yell after yell, and then the band 
struck up " Dixie." Every voice in that vast 
crowd sang. The veterans were by this time 
in line, limping and leaping rather than marching, 
coming with more eagerness than precision to 
the place left for them. 

As they came within sight of the crowd every 
man and woman arose. Hats and handkerchiefs 
were thrown into the air. They shouted, they 
clapped, they yelled. The old soldiers bared 
their heads and limped and leaped along, barely 
hearing the military commands of their leaders. 
At last they reached their places; quiet came; and 
after a long prayer the orator was introduced. 

As soon as he stood up every old soldier arose 
and yell after yell was given in his honour. 

"Come down, we want to hug you, Colonel," 
one man, with stubs of arms, cried out. 



44 THE SOUTHERNER 

But at last the orator began. Even if he did 
speak almost two hours, nobody in the audience, 
except the babies, became weary, not even the 
hundreds of men who stood on the outskirts of 
the crowd. He was talking about the Lost Cause 
and Stonewall Jackson, and many of his hearers 
would have sat till they had dropped asleep from 
exhaustion, hearing this great adventure praised. 
It was meat and drink and rest to them. 

The climax of Colonel Flint's long speech was 
the unveiling of the bust. It was covered with a 
cloth and a cadet stood at either side, who, when 
the orator gave the cue, was to pull the cords which 
would remove the covering. 

I was one of these. At last Colonel Flint 
stepped to the very edge of the platform, gave 
the signal to uncover the bust, and, lifting his 
great voice to its utmost, said: 

" Soldiers, Comrades, Heroes! Behold our im- 
mortal commander!" 

The band played Dixie again, but nobody 
now heard it. The old soldiers yelled yelled - 
yelled yell on yell, great folds of shrieking 
applause; and the crowd echoed every burst of 
it. The veterans swayed forward. 

"God bless old Stonewall!" 

"There he is!" 

"Get out of my way, boy." 

"The immortal leader!" 



THE FLOWER OF THE SOUTH 45 

The cadets presented bayonets to keep them back. 

Old soldiers snatched the guns from the boys' 
hands and, yelling, broke their line. Some were 
stuck by the bayonets. But no accident nor 
incident stopped them. The officers who sat 
on the platform motioned them back. But, 
with "God bless old Stonewall/' on they rushed. 

Before anybody knew how the feat was done, 
one veteran snatched the little bust from its 
pedestal and, holding it high, kissed it. Another took 
it and embraced it. It was passed back through 
the struggling throng. Old men, one after another, 
grasped the orator by the neck and everybody 
seemed to be embracing somebody else. As 
Colonel Graham cried orders to his cadets to 
re-form their line at the side of the stand, his 
order was cut short by the shouts of a group who 
gathered about him and threw their hands wildly 
in the air. 

In a dazed state, I was standing at one side with 
the cord still in my hand. 

:< You showed him to us," shouted a gigantic 
mountaineer, and he seized me and handed me 
to his neighbour. Thus I was passed from man 
to man far out into the crowd, my cap lost and my 
coat torn, before I could reach the ground. 

I saw my cousin Margaret in the crowd near 
where I reached the ground. She had been weep- 
ing as everybody else wept from such an emotional 



46 THE SOUTHERNER 

strain. But she laughed at my plight and waved 
her hand at me. 

After the long railroad ride back to the school 
that night, I had just life enough left in me, when 
I pulled my bunk down and recalled the wild 
scene of the day, to remember that my father 
had once spoken of the Confederacy as "a foolish 
enterprise," and I fell asleep wondering if he 
had been mistaken. 

I have since sometimes thought that many of 
the men who survived that unnatural war unwit- 
tingly did us a greater hurt than the war itself. It 
gave every one of them the intensest experience of 
his life, and ever afterwards he referred every 
other experience to this. Thus it stopped the 
thought of most of them as an earthquake stops 
a clock. The fierce blow of battle paralyzed the 
mind. Their speech was in a vocabulary of war; 
their loyalties were loyalties, not to living ideas 
or duties, but to old commanders and to distorted 
traditions. They were dead men, most of them, 
moving among the living as ghosts; and yet, as 
ghosts in a play, they held the stage. 

Revered, unreasoning, ever-present, some of 

them became our masters, others became beggars 

- some masters and beggars, too. We did them 

honour and we doled them alms, and for years 

they frightened us into actions that we did not 



THE FLOWER OF THE SOUTH 47 

approve, for we feared to offend them. But now, 
forgetfulness and peace - peace and forgiveness 
- they are almost all gone ; we honour them while 
we pity them; they were our fathers and they 
were brave; but we did not become ourselves 
till they were buried, if indeed we are become 
ourselves yet; for this was not merely a fierce 
war it was a fierce civil war. 



CHAPTER V 
MY GRANDFATHER'S HIGH HOPE FOR ME 

ON A certain summer morning during one of 
my vacations my Aunt Eliza spent a prec- 
ious hour or more in writing this letter, about which, 
of course, I knew nothing till many years later. 
But, when I found it, I easily recalled the day. I 
think I told you that my Aunt Eliza was the 
youngest of my grandfather's children, and that 
she had been the mistress of the Old Place since 
my grandmother fell dead when they brought 
one of my uncles home from the war to be buried 
beyond the garden. She had never married. 
She was a war-spinster one of that large com- 
pany whose mates wedded death on Virginian 
battlefields. 

Her letter, written in her neat handwriting in 
her diary, ran in this way; for I now copy it just 
as she left it when (not long ago) she died at a 
ripe old age, having lived at once maid, wife, and 
widow, a life of radiant resignation: 

"My Beloved Captain: Again our wedding 
day! Here where I wait it is a day of a perfect 

4 8 



MY GRANDFATHER'S HIGH HOPE 49 

sky, as it ought to be. I am as happy in your 
love as this sky is clear and deep. It is as refresh- 
ing as the breeze that blows into my window from 
the garden. We would walk there now if you 
were with me and the old-fashioned odours would 
make us glad. You liked them, I remember, and 
I have kept the garden as you knew it. 

" Every year my love grows. This you know, 
for I have every year told you, and telling makes 
me content. Every year, my beloved Captain, 
I come nearer to you. Your absence is shorter 
now than it has ever before been. I thank heaven 
that you cannot suffer impatience, although at 
times I almost wish you did. 

"I am waiting, not wearily any longer. For 
we can wait patiently for what is certain to 
come. 

"I shall be happy all this our wedding day - 
happy even if I turn aside now and then and weep 
a moment. Forgive me that, for the happiness 
that you taught me and that we shall always 
have will outlive all weeping and all waiting. 

"I cannot write 'good-bye' because you are 
always with me, O brave Captain of my life. " 

The date in the diary where this is written is 
the anniversary of the battle in which her betrothed 
Captain fell. She kept the anniversary year after 
year in a bridal spirit. After the news of his death 



50 THE SOUTHERNER 

came, for the rest of her patient life she wore 
white, and moved among us as a gentle and almost 
silent presence, consenting from sheer goodness 
to take part in whatever concerned us. But her 
own self lived in another world, into which at 
times we had glimpses. It was a world of radiant 
expectation, even of ultimate sweet certainties 
to her. Habitually she spoke of the Captain 
as if she had seen him yesterday, and in a tone 
which meant that she might see him to-morrow. 

There was, then, nothing unnatural in her 
greeting of my Aunt Katharine Benson who had 
driven from the city to see "Eliza, poor soul, 
who lives too much alone:" 

"I am glad to see you, Katharine; for it is my 
wedding day. I have written to the Captain, 
and now the day is ours." 

My cousin Margaret came to the Old Place that 
day with her mother; and she and I made a very 
glad time of it, as I easily recall we made of many 
days there. We romped about the grove, we 
rode horses down the long, lone road, and we talked 
with Uncle Ephraim. We tried to push around 
the long arms of the old cotton-press, as old in 
its pattern as Pharaoh, but it was still in use every 
fall making insecure bales of the precious crop. We 
walked about the old slave-quarters rows of 
log houses they were, very like the barracks at the 



MY GRANDFATHER'S HIGH HOPE 51 

Graham school. Some of them were yet occupied 
by the Negroes that worked on the farm. 

When Uncle Ephraim, giving full range to his 
imagination, had told stories of the slaves and of the 
slave-quarters and of the revelries there that he 
remembered, the quarters had seemed to me 
miles long. Their spacious fire-places had seemed 
almost as large as the cabins themselves were. He 
carried in his memory a larger scale of measure- 
ment than the huts now gave hint of. 

"I wonder, Cousin," I said to Margaret, "if 
the old times were really as 'gret' as Uncle Ephraim 
(and other historians) think ? " 

By this time we were come to a double cabin 
in which the hand-looms still stood, upon which 
my grandmother's slave-women had, under her 
direction, woven much of the cloth that was used 
in cabin and in "big house." There they were, 
now become only so much lumber; and the 
spinning wheels seemed likely to fall to pieces 
in the dry dust that heavily covered them. 

Although these things were supposed to sym- 
bolize a great, dead, happy era, and in spite of 
Margaret's mood of defence of Uncle Ephraim's 
large measured imagination, cabins and looms 
and spinning wheels and the ginnery and the 
cotton-press all seemed out of repair, out of use, 
old, as depressing a part of the past as the 
two old men were cheerful parts of it. After we 



52 THE SOUTHERNER 

had gone by the spring, we walked up the cedar 
lane in silence to the house. 

After dinner we went into the library where 
lately a number of old books and documents, which 
had been rescued from a garret, had been put in 
a high book-case. This was the work of Aunt 
Eliza, upon whom the habit had come of putting 
everything in order in anticipation of the final 
leave-taking both of my grandfather and of 
herself. 

We sat in the cool, high old room and fell to 
talking of the family stories that Uncle Ephraim 
had told us. The old man passed through and 
said: 

"Dem was gret times/' and he winked and 
chuckled /'gret times when yo' gran 'pa sont 
me wid his complimen's to de young leddy twenty 
mile er way." 

"Was that grandmother, Uncle Ephraim?" 

"Sho' it was. Who you spec' it was?" 

''They were great times, Nick," my pretty 
cousin said. "For, if any young 'gem'man' were 
to send his 'complimenV twenty miles to me, 
Yd like it. They don't do such things these days. 
They did have good times," she rattled on. 

"Why, mother herself told me that Aunt Phoebe 

- your own blessed grandmother - - wore a pink 

belt at a great ball where your grandfather danced 

with her and said something that pleased her; 



MY GRANDFATHER'S HIGH HOPE 53 

and she didn't wear that pink belt again till old 
Uncle Nicholas married her. That's what I call 
being in love." 

"Rather silly, don't you think?" 

"No, I don't. She was in love, Nick. Don't 
you know what being in love is and how they 
act? And that's a true story about old Uncle 
Nicholas sending Uncle Ephraim twenty miles 
every day or two to carry a note or something." 

"Why didn't he go himself?" 

"Why, he did go, of course. But he couldn't 
go every day; and he sent his servant on the days 
when he couldn't go himself. Old Uncle Ephraim 
says, 'Dey co'ted fas' and fu'ous in dem days." 

"Here's a funny book," she said presently. 
She had taken down an old account book, written 
with the most precise penmanship. 

One entry was: "Nicholas Worth" across the 
top of the page. 

Then came: " One slave Pompey, $800. " 

Farther down: "One barrel of whiskey. 9 ' 

It was not plain whether the whiskey and the 
slave were bought or sold or swapped. 

"That sounds sober," said I. "That dear old 
man sitting in the piazza now, do you suppose, 
cousin, that he recalls these things ? " 

"Go ask him, Nick." 

"Not for a thousand dollars." 

" I couldn't think of the same man 'co'tin' dear 



54 THE SOUTHERNER 

Aunt Phoebe 'fas' and fu'ous' and then selling or 
buying 'one slave Pompey' and 'one barrel of 
whiskey. ' Do you suppose they really loved one 
another?" 

'Just as we do now, coz. " 
"But you never sent me your 'complimenV 
twenty miles. To say this at short range costs 
nothing. 'Dem sho'ly was gret times/ and the 
sons are not worthy of their grandfathers. " 
"Well," said I, "you wait and see." 
"I'll never love you, Nick, if you're a Method- 
ist. Mamma says that the only Methodist that 
ever went to heaven was Aunt Phoebe, and the 
only other one that will ever go is your mother. 
You can't go to heaven as a Methodist. Aunt 
Phoebe bequeathed to every one of you her big nose 
and her Methodist religion. You've got the nose. " 

In the afternoon when Aunt Katharine and 
Margaret had gone, my grandfather came into 
the house and sat in his deep leather-bottomed 
chair; he rearranged the fire, as was his wont, 
for it had become slightly cool, and he rang his 
bell for Ephraim and said: 

"Margaret is a likely child, Ephraim." 
'Yes, oF Marster, a mighty purty young miss, 
sho'. She 'kin to Miss Anne and Mars' Little- 
nick, you know." 

"Call Nicholas tome." 



MY GRANDFATHER'S HIGH HOPE 55 

When I had sat down beside him, he asked: 

" How old are you, Nicholas ? Yes, yes," he 
said, when I had told him; and then he began to 
talk, looking into the fire: 

"I had a mind for public life myself when I 
was young, but the plantation needed management, 
and I was married early and then well then, 
I reckon Ephraim needed management you 
remember your grandmother, son?" 

'Yes, grandfather. I remember I saw her 
many times when I was little." 

"Well, she came here then, and I gave my time 
to other things. You will marry, too, Nicholas 
not now, son, but some time." Uncle Ephraim 
smiled and touched my elbow. "But are you 
going into public life when you are a man ? I 
hope you will, for you will be the head of the 
family one of these days, and it is time we were 
in public life again. My grandfather was an 
important man in the government of the colony. 
Every family must serve the country by its best 
men. It was so in the old time." 

" Grandfather, you were a Justice of the Peace ? " 

"And I sat in the General Assembly for many 
years. Then," he went on as if he were talking 
to a memory of something long past, "we made 
plans for the development of the State which 
would have made it long ago one of the richest 
and most powerful commonwealths in the Union. 



56 THE SOUTHERNER 

The State had the money, and the chance was 
ours. Great men and great States are builders. 
We ought to have built great public works. But 
the public mind was soon drawn from all practical 
things. Talk with your mother, son, and tell her 
that I wish you to become Governor, and build 
public works." 

When I told my mother the next day, she 
simply said: "Dear old grandpa, he doesn't know 
what "public life/ as he calls it, means these 
days; and she went on with her preparations for 
us to return to Graham's, I for my last year and 
my brother Charles for his second year. For she 
was managing the mill in her quiet, thankful 
way with success. The price of cotton and of 
its products during those years was high, as 
doubtless you will recall. 

A few nights later we were turning down the 
beds from the walls in our room in the barracks; 
and I always thought of my cousin Margaret as 
we put down our work for the night; and now 
every colonel's son of us was again playing the 
game of Latin, Mathematics, and the Honour of 
a Gentleman not a bad game for youth whether 
in that cloistered school or in the world. 

My hardy Colonel, it was a narrow segment 
of life that you moved in and marched us over 
in those years of guns and drums and paradigms 



MY GRANDFATHER'S HIGH HOPE 57 

and Presbyterianism. I recall with a smile and 
yet with affection your amusing pomp and your 
martial precision. But you stood erect; and 
that is a pleasant memory in a world where I have 
since seen many men cringe. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 

A IE you a new student ? " 
An ecclesiastical fellow flung this question 
in my face in a kindly, abrupt way, when I got off 
the train and found myself standing in the rain at 
the darkly lighted station at Clayborn. 

"Yes." 

"I'll show you to the college office and help 
you. Know any old students ? " 

No, I knew nobody. I had a letter from 
Colonel Graham saying that I had finished my 
course at his school "with distinction." That 
was my only introduction. 

We went to a dingy office, where a fat man in 
clerical clothes wrote down my name, asked me 
the same questions again, and called out: 

"Powhatan Row, number 10." 

My friend of the rainy darkness went with me 
to this place, which I found to be a plain square 
room with two windows, a fire-place, a bed, two 
hard chairs, a washstand, no carpet well, it 
was a room and it was dry. He lighted a lamp; 
we kindled a fire; he told me that I could get meals 

58 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 59 

at any one of a dozen boarding-houses in the village 
and he invited me to supper with him. 

A cheerless beginning, surely, of that period 
of adolescence of the spirit during which youth 
finds itself and establishes its relations to the 
universe! 

Again I wished most fervently that I could 
have gone to the University where I should have 
been in my own State and had companions from 
Graham's and had common traditions with those 
about me. 

But the University was closed, because, in 
the political convulsion of the time, the "Carpet- 
bag" Legislature, seeing that the Kingdom's 
come, all men are free and a new era is at hand, 
had opened it alike to white and coloured students. 
No coloured students came, I think, but no white 
students remained; and the Legislature withheld 
its appropriation till the " proud whites" should 
relent. During this deadlock, I came of college 
age. This church college, therefore, although it 
had the disadvantage of being in another State, 
was regarded as the best one for me to attend, 
partly because it was a church college and partly 
because a great orator and preacher was then its 
president. 

I may undertake in this chronicle to explain 
why a man came to love one woman rather than 
another; why a whole people lost their minds 



60 THE SOUTHERNER 

on one subject; and why men who seemed vapid 
and commonplace became powerful, popular lead- 
ers; for even subtle tasks like these any man may 
try without fear of utter failure. But I shall not 
try to tell what happened to me, or what happens 
to any youth at college. 

I know that the years of our life there opened 
a new era, but I cannot yet understand why there 
are men who really think the same thing about 
the commonplace years of their lives there. These 
years were years of an expanding horizon. Even 
now I can summon the mood of perpetual youth, 
recall the keenest joys of comradeship, and feel 
the effervescence of the soul slide a door of the 
mind and shut out the things that are and leave 
with my true self only the things that then were 
that then were and, therefore, are perpetual, be- 
cause they never were. It was life under a sort 
of dome that reflected and magnified self-conscious- 
ness; but it opened a vista to the stars or to man's 
highest endeavour or into the great processes of 
nature, and thus trained the eye to see vistas 
forever. To miss this is to miss the divine ferment 
of youth and to fail of a secret that cannot be 
imparted. 

As I wished and started to say when the efferves- 
cent mood cut me off, in due time I found myself 
and my companions; for this is the aim of the 
whole experience, along with the incidental aim, 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 61 

while the spirit is expanding, of furnishing the 
mind also with mathematics and the classics; and 
in the course of time I left Powhatan Row for 
other lost newcomers piloted by kind "theologs." 

During the years that counted for something, 
I lived in Greenwood Cottage, a little building 
that stood by itself in the corner of the yard; 
and my companions there were John Gary and 
Preston Harvey. However little you may know 
of these deep things of the spirit, you must permit 
me to write here that, wherever they or I have 
been since those years, in heights or depths, we 
have known and understood one another; and, 
wherever we may henceforth be in the great 
spaces of the universe, I think we shall know and 
understand one another with a large charity 
and a complete sympathy - - till the lights of our 
knowing go out. 

We came from three different States one's 
State was then one's very mother. A man who 
lived in South Carolina was for that reason a 
different man from a man who lived in Georgia. 
They had different allegiances, different heroes, 
different traditions. But we were all "Southern," 
and that was a strong common bond. The 
flame of patriotism burned bright in us, a strong 
light with a mellow religious tinge. Whatever 
else we might fail in, we should never fail 
in our patriotic duty to our States and to the 



62 THE SOUTHERNER 

South. Our aims differed in other ways, but 
not in this way. 

Only one student in college had ever been "to 
the North." Half a dozen, perhaps, had been 
to Washington, and none of the others had seen 
a city so large except two students from New 
Orleans. Yet we came from eight or ten Southern 
States. But, if our horizon was small, the heavens 
were near; and we were not aware that we lived 
in a corner of the world. Unless you know the 
universe, you are pardonable for thinking that 
the centre of it is where you stand. "The South" 
was ours that we all had in common wherever 
we lived, and "the South" surely was no mean 
country. 

We had the deep seriousness as well as the 
blythe spirit of youth. One night we sat talking 
of patriotism, as we talked many nights, and of 
our duty to our country. True, we did not know 
the political events of that year, nor even of that 
decade. We lived far from the world where 
stirring things were going on. But we did know 
that the South was a discredited province of the 
Union, that its voice was not now heard, that its 
influence was gone and that we were disinherited 
children of the Republic which our fathers had 
framed. We were reading Jefferson and Madison 
as a diversion the kind of diversion that is one's 
main matter of life. There were now no Southern 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 63 

men of corresponding influence. But there should 
be more such, and the old land should know 
that it had not become barren! 

On this particular night, we drew the curtains, 
locked the doors and knelt before the fire. All 
serious actions were begun with prayer, and all 
resolves took the form of oaths. John prayed 
aloud: 

" Great God of our Fathers: Help us keep the 
oath that we are about to take, and consecrate 
us to the highest and most honourable service of 
our stricken and beloved country. She shall 
rise again to claim her own right influence in the 
world. Keep us strong and resolute, for Christ's 
sake." 

Before we rose we clasped hands and John 
swore this oath aloud: 

"Before God and these witnesses, I swear to 
be loyal and true to my country and to let no 
selfish motive move me from this resolve." 

Then I swore the same oath and then Preston. 

We arose, a glow of ambition warming our souls. 
We sat in silence for a time and then we grasped 
each other's hands again and went to bed. 

Any man who knows no better may, if he 
choose, laugh at this juvenile solemnity. But in 
that college to this day there are three youths 
every year who swear this oath three selected 
b.y their predecessors; and they read over with 



64 THE SOUTHERNER 

pride the names and the careers of all who have 
sworn it before them; and there is not one who 
has not kept it by his conscience. 

Thus the State became, especially during that 
particular year, our love, our mistress, our religion ; 
and we read the political fathers and made 
patriotic orations. 

Our loyalty to one another and our intimacy 
were complete. We even told our love stories to 
one another. My cousin Margaret's photograph 
hung in my room and there was never a day 
I did not look at it and feel the thrill that her 
beautiful face gave me. 

Preston Harvey, who was already thinking of 
becoming a preacher, had, I recall, a pretty 
ceremony. Before he went to bed he lighted 
a candle in front of the pictures of his beloved 
and of his mother, while he said his prayers, for 
religion and the love of women were ever near 
neighbours. 

John was madly in love with a young lady in 
the college village, a girl of a pious mind, who, 
knowing that John's father was a preacher of 
great renown, had made up her mind to turn 
him also to the pulpit before accepting him; 
and she had at times an exasperating way of giving 
him sermons in return for his love-making at 
times, for at other times she showed that she knew 
the language that John spoke. 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 65 

One night he came home and threw his hat 
down in despair. 

"It's all off. Damned if I'll have any more 
damned sermons from Grace Makepeace. She 
may keep 'em for some soft-palated 'theolog.' 
Beggin' your pardon, Preston, I'm not that kind 
of a rooster. I'm done I am. Just because 
the old man is a big preacher, I've got to preach! 
I've told everybody I wouldn't, except mother; 
and now Grace Makepeace thinks she can 'snatch 
me from the burning.' I'll burn a little longer." 

"It seems to me you are pretty warm," said 
Preston. 

"Hot as hell! Forgive me, old man. But 
nobody has a right have they? --to drive a 
fellow to preach much less a girl. But, by 
Jupiter, she's a nice one when she's right. But 
she's all off to-night. 

"Beg pardon again, old boy. I meant to do 
all my swearing before I got home damn it!" 

But reverent in spirit we surely were, John as 
well as Preston and I. Every act of our lives, 
from sitting at table three times a day to going to 
bed at night, was preceded with a prayer. It 
was not respectful to eat without "grace," and 
it was a part of the making of one's toilet to say 
one's prayers before going to bed. Prayer was 
woven into the very respectability of life. It seemed 
ill-bred not to pray. But John was becoming 



66 THE SOUTHERNER 

somewhat weary of it. He had done praying 
enough already, it occurred to him, to last an 
ordinary lifetime; and he woke up to the conclu- 
sion th" 1 " so much praying was absurd, was wrong 
indeed, because it was perfunctory. It was not 
sincere, not praying at all, but mere mummery. 
Yet he was afraid suddenly and wholly to leave 
it off. 

He took vehemently to the study of religion. 
He conceived a suspicion, which soon became a 
conviction, that the Greek gods might possibly 
have been as efficacious and helpful as the Hebrew 
Jehovah; and that they were all philosophical 
speculations. Why not pray to Zeus ? And he 
framed him a prayer to each of the more important 
Greek deities. He wrestled with this subject 
long and hard, as Sam and I had wrestled with 
the question of the reality of the war. He con- 
sidered the evidence of the inspiration of the 
Scriptures, the evidence of the miracles and all 
the rest. And lo! there was no evidence. There 
were declarations and traditions. There were 
arguments by analogy. There was a colossal 
structure of argument and appeal built up on a 
mere supposition; and a supposition very like it, 
we found out, had underlain every religion. This 
was one year's work for us. And we had opened 
a chasm indeed a great yawning before us. 

"It is all a vast humbug and delusion," said 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 67 

John; "a cruel thing." But we found no rest 
in that conclusion or in that feeling. We were 
yet in a state of dire disturbance, and where could 
we get help ? 

On any other subject we should have found some- 
one to talk with. Yet here was the most important 
subject of all, and we were practically forbidden 
to express a doubt, on pain of the severest social 
punishment. If we had frankly told our fellows 
of our state of mind, we should have been regarded 
as worse than heathen, as a sort of outcasts, unbe- 
lievers, revilers (except by Preston, who of course, 
kept our secret, was true to us, and prayed for us). 

Yet to keep silent was to live a sort of hypocrisy. 
To be frank and honest that was next to 
impossible. 

In a desperate frame of mind, John sought the 
President one Sunday afternoon and tried to tell 
him of the doubts that blocked our way. The 
President was accustomed to hear the doubts of 
those who were professionally known as "sinners" ; 
and John soon saw that he was not making his own 
case very clear to him he was hearing it with 
professional ears, and he spoke in a professional 
tone. 

"Why, my son," said he, "if you go far enough 
in that direction, you would come to doubt the 
very inspiration of the Scriptures. Think of that! 
You cannot conceive of yourself as an unbeliever, 



68 THE SOUTHERNER 

with your father's faith and your mother's prayers. 
Turn back. We all go through these periods of 
doubt. Seek help in prayer." 

The doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures! 
That was the very thing that John had gone to 
talk with him about; and he, good man, had 
thrown a fence about it so completely as to forbid 
approach to it. There was no help in that direc- 
tion. If John had told him what he really thought, 
he was afraid that he would regard him as a public 
enemy, and a fear arose even of expulsion from 
college certainly of sorrowful letters to and from 
his father. 

Then by agreement with John I took up the 
quest. I made a sort of parallel between some 
phase of Greek theology and Christianity and 
went to talk with our gentle Greek master, Pro- 
fessor Randall. 

"That was the religion of beauty," said he, 
using another formula, "whereas ours is the 
religion of conduct." And thus he closed all 
approach to the real subject. 

And so it was all around the horizon. There 
was no answer to our inquiries except answers by 
the old formulas; and no discussion seemed pos- 
sible except at the risk of excommunication from 
respectability. Formulas so took the place of 
thought as to forbid inquiry. We must keep a 
hypocritical place or invite fatal consequences. 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 69 

Very youthful all this, to look back at, from 
our present time of day. But what a cruel 
organization of society that was! Education? 
When the most important subject that may concern 
a soul its relation to the universe may not 
be inquired into at all. The whole organization 
of life took for granted the rigid maintenance of 
the prevailing orthodoxy. 

And all the while John's mother wrote him of her 
prayers that he might follow the career of his 
father. 

Small, then, as our world was, it was large 
enough to present to us some of the gravest 
problems of life. 

Our teacher of Greek would, I dare say, now 
cut a poor figure among more modern philological 
scholars; for he was a man of the most delicate 
and sincere cultivation, and he regarded Greek 
literature as literature, to be read for its form and its 
beauty, and to be read in great stretches. 

He must have got this notion in England, for 
he was pursuing his studies there when the war 
began. He had an adventure that stirred our 
blood and he told it in a sort of Homeric way. 
He came home on a ship that ran the Union 
blockade, with several narrow escapes. He imme- 
diately went into the Confederate army as a private 
and served for four years, and the story used to be 



70 THE SOUTHERNER 

told that a pocket copy of Homer saved his life, 
when he was wounded, by deflecting the ball. 
It is certain that he had a copy of Homer that had 
been shot, for I saw that with my own eyes. 

At any rate his patriotism and a love of Greek 
literature were so linked together in his mind that 
he would never believe that any "Northern" 
scholar really knew his Greek. The war ended 
and his little fortune gone, he turned to his classics, 
and our college had been lucky enough to engage 
him. He took a born teacher's profound joy in 
such of his pupils as cultivated him and his subject. 

There were four or five of us whom he won and 
who would have gone to war for him, if need be. 
He had won us by his simple, superb enthusiasm. 
He conducted his class wholly with reference to 
us four or five. I think that he was often unaware 
of the existence of the others. We who loved him 
spent much time at his simple table and in his 
library. We read the Greek orations with him 
in this way and the great tragedies. Thus it hap- 
pened that we had a great teacher, a rare spirit, 
and a man of ennobling culture, a gentleman, 
moreover, if the round earth held one. 

Among other adventures that we had were high 
adventures in oratory; for the college was, espec- 
ially in those years, a place of orators. Had our 
fathers, in State and in Church, not practised 
oratory for half a century, to the exclusion of 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 71 

the other arts ? And should we fall below them ? 
Besides, youth becomes what it sees and hears and 
feels, and the President of the college was a 
great orator. He could throw his audience into 
the heroic mood and play upon us as a master 
on the keys of his instrument. There was no 
depth nor height of emotional adventure to which 
he did not lead us. 

The two great debating clubs were both the 
social and intellectual bodies of our world. 
They combined sport and toil and gave exercise 
and glory, and such of us as aspired to leadership 
worked in them diligently. The really great 
event of Commencement week was the Furman 
Oratorical Contest; and, when my last year 
at college was closing, I was chosen by my Society 
as a contestant for it. 

There were four to speak for it and the winner 
became the hero of the year. Nothing was too 
good to predict for him, no compliment too high 
to pay him. For two months I pondered my 
patriotic subject, read about it, hammered out my 
periods, found my illustrations. On long walks 
I would declaim passages to hear the rhythmic 
swing of the best phrases. 

At last the great evening came. The hall 
was brilliantly lighted and decorated and packed 
to the doors. All the young women of all the 
young men came. My cousin Margaret had 



72 THE SOUTHERNER 

written to me that she and her mother were coming, 
" For we both know that you'll be sure to win; and I 
want to see you, cousin, in your hour of triumph. " 
My mother was too ill to take the rather long 
journey. 

Surely it was a little world that we lived in 
where an oratorical contest by youth, who did not 
even know the history of their own country, was 
taken as seriously as the contests that Pindar 
celebrated. The crowds that now throng to see 
a foot-ball game are larger and noisier; but they 
have only one emotion the sensation of sport. 
This oratorical game was both sport and real 
achievement a serious part of the business of 
life, as people of all ages regarded it. Very few 
men and no women doubted that the winner was 
sure of great honours thereafter. Indeed, the 
winning of the prize itself was a great honour, for 
oratory was yet the greatest of the arts. 

The President of the college presided and ex- 
plained the prize. He called the names of all its 
winners. He magnified the art of oratory how 
his resonant praise of it runs yet through the 
memory of the youthful mood that was quickened 
by it! He raised the audience to a plane of tense 
expectancy. Then he introduced each young man, 
as if he should say, "My noble youth, the prize 
awaits you." 

The partisans of each speaker heartily ap- 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 73 

plauded. As every one delivered his oration, he 
sank back into the long sofa exhausted, hardly 
conscious of his identity; for it was the highest 
tension in all his life. 

My turn came third of the four. The President 
was now introducing me. He was saying pleasant 
things about my personal bearing and good scholar- 
ship and again a word of gratification that the best 
students cultivated the art of expressing themselves. 

With a sort of pleasant surprise that I knew my 
own name when he called it and with still greater 
surprise that I knew my speech, I arose. I caught 
my cousin Margaret's eye instantly. I had not 
before seen her in the audience. The resolution 
came strong in me that she should be pleased at 
my effort whether I won or not. 

When the emotions are at their tensest, as a man 
plunges onward into the making of a speech, 
every sense is quickened. He can see a hundred 
faces at once and recall his relations to each of 
these people. He can, at the same time, think 
over long past events connected in his mind with 
them. The orator, the young orator, surely, has 
two consciousnesses. One is fixed on his oration. 
The other runs along beside it, or makes excursions 
ahead of it, or wanders over the argument, or 
fixes itself on an important phrase that is yet to 
come, or roams around the audience, or comes to 
his support if he lags and says, " Rouse you now!" 



74 THE SOUTHERNER 

Poor is the man who has not felt this deep pulsa- 
tion of high effort to win an audience! 

When I saw Margaret, my sentences were flowing 
without hesitation, my mind was true to the order 
in which they should come, and yet I felt anew, 
How beautiful she is! And this thought came to me 
again as I approached the most stirring patriotic 
climax in the oration; for, of course, it was a 
patriotic speech on "The Disinherited South." 

The applause of my friends was loud; and I 
saw my cousin rise to her full height and beam 
approval, while she clapped her hands. 

I sat down, feeling a sort of numb contentment, 
and I lived through the speech of the last con- 
testant without distinctly hearing it. 

Then the President asked the judges to retire 
and to make their decision. There arose three 
men a lawyer, a preacher, and an editor - 
three men of great influence. Everybody seemed 
content that they were the judges, and a ripple 
of applause spread over the audience as they went 
to the reception room behind the platform. 

They were merciful, and they were not gone 
long. The lawyer came forward and with a grave 
dignity (he was a famous orator himself, for his 
oration on Poe was regarded as a piece of literature 
as great as anything that Poe himself had written) 
with great dignity he picked the huge medal 
from the desk and awarded it to me. 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 75 

Then there was pandemonium. The President 
congratulated me. So did my competitors. The 
audience applauded; and in a jiffy my associates 
in my Society lifted me to their shoulders; and, 
while the President tried to dismiss the audience 
they marched with me up and down the aisle. 
When they put me down at the rostrum, the crowd 
repeated its applause, and the President said 
graciously, "And the world is yours to conquer." 

In spite of the amazing grandiloquence of all 
this, I fear that I regard it now more seriously 
than I have regarded many serious things since 
then; for we were and are "disinherited " we 
who had no more to do with the Civil War than 
with the Punic Wars and no more to do with 
slavery than with the Inquisition, and yet we 
suffer the consequences of both slavery and 
the war. I spoke the truth, however high-flown the 
speech; and every man and woman who heard it 
answered in spirit to the hope that we may come 
into our own again. 

When the crowd had somewhat dispersed and 
all my friends had shaken my hand, I was able 
at last to make my way to my aunt and my cousin, 
for they had kept their seats, awaiting me. My 
aunt kissed me and whispered, "An omen of many 
honours to come." 

Margaret kissed me, too a cousin's modest 
right. 



76 THE SOUTHERNER 

"I knew you would win," she said, "and, 
before we came to the hall, I wrote to your mother 
that you had won. Here is the letter, sealed and 
stamped. Send it to the post-office for to-night's 
mail. She will receive it before she gets the morn- 
ing paper. My dear cousin, we are so proud of 
you"; and she patted my arm with her hand. 

When we were alone, after the reception in the 
Society Halls, "Dear cousin," she said, still aglow, 
"and we do all love our country. It was a noble 
speech." 

And, when the company broke up and Professor 
Thomas, at whose house they were staying, walked 
home down the long yard with my aunt, I walked 
behind with Margaret. As we passed under the 
long arch of lights, it seemed to me she had become 
more beautiful since she sat in the audience. She 
wore a sort of radiance of pride in me. 

I looked into her eyes and I saw there a light 
that is like the rosy imminence of dawn. At Pro- 
fessor Thomas's house I kissed her good-night. 
She gave a shiver of surprise, for I had never before 
kissed her in private it was a personal, not a 
cousinly kiss. But she smiled and we said: 

"Good-night," and 

"Good-night," and 

"Good-night." 

The dazed happiness of the last two hours (had 
it been only two hours?) ran higher, as a great 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 77 

tide runs in, to my complete immersion in a sea 
of emotion that swept me back across the yard. 
The lights were now even more fairy-like, and 
there were so many of them! I was going to the 
President's house where the contestants, all former 
contestants and the presidents of the two debating 
societies, were always asked at that time to a sort 
of Order of Orators, a round table of them that 
speak. A simple supper was ready in the library 
- sandwiches and tea and an ice. 

The little company sat down in good humour. 
The losers had received at least the congratulations 
of their friends, and they were now eligible to 
this company by reason of their effort. 

The talk was first of reminiscences of previous 
contests. Some humorous stories were told. Other 
winners were recalled. The careers of some were 
spoken of with pride. 

Then the conversation came round to the 
President's recent journey to Philadelphia. He 
had never been to Philadelphia before. No other 
one in the company had ever been "North." It 
was as if a traveller had now come back from a 
great city at the other side of the world. 

He had gone as a "fraternal delegate" from 
the Southern church to the Northern church, 
which had just held a great meeting in Philadelphia. 
These two branches of a common faith had 
become separate organizations because of the 



7 8 THE SOUTHERNER 

sectional bitterness that preceded the Civil War. 
And now the two bodies had paid each other the 
courtesy to send "fraternal delegates" to convey 
messages of good-will. 

"I had no idea of the riches of the North," 
the good man said, over his tea. "Prosperity 
abounds everywhere. Everywhere are evidences 
of accumulated wealth. In the home where I 
was entertained, there was the most lavish display 
of wealth that I have ever seen. 

"My dear doctor," he said, "turning to a 
former medal winner, who was now a preacher 
in a nearby town, "they pay their preachers four 
times as large salaries as the Governor of our 
Commonwealth receives. " 

After he had answered many questions, he was 
moved to tell what he had not meant to tell - 
how on the evening set for the great meeting to 
hear the delegates from the Southern church, 
the presiding Bishop had called on him to speak, 
after which much business was on the programme. 
He arose, and the scene of splendour about him 
fired his imagination. He contrasted it with the 
poverty of his own church and people; he expressed 
the brotherly sentiments which the Southern 
church held for all mankind, those of their own 
spiritual kindred in particular; and, if God would 
show a way in which all memory of all past dif- 
ferences could be obliterated, he and those for 



EFFERVESCENCE OF THE SPIRIT 79 

whom he spoke would welcome it as a new evidence 
of the spirit of Christ. 

That is what he said he told them. But, 
when he had delivered his message (with his 
marvellous voice and with all his own emotions 
tuned high), the meeting broke up. There was 
a rush to the platform to shake his hand. Men 
gathered in little groups to talk about him and 
what he had said. 

"A message for a new era/' they said. 

"A most remarkable address." 

"God will find a way." 

Some one began to sing the doxology, the rest 
of the programme was forgotten and the audience 
went home under the spell of this unexpected 
experience. They were unwilling to hear any- 
thing else that evening. 

By this time, tears came into the President's eyes, 
and he was attuned to another thought than that 
which he had expressed in Philadelphia the com- 
plement to it -- the pathos of the South's poverty. 

"And the next day they offered me churches 
in New York and Chicago and a salary of $6,000 
a year and a house. This will show you the un- 
imagined scale of magnificence that they have 
in those great cities. They told me how I could 
preach there with effect the message of restored 
national brotherhood and help to bind up our 
country's wounds. 



8o THE SOUTHERNER 

" 'No/ said I, 'my own poor country needs 
me. We must train men. We that are left owe 
it to the sons of those that fell to see that they 
are not neglected. God has called me to our own 
field, where our own people are dear to me.' 

"My friends, I wept for our old Common- 
wealth. She needs men with all the training they 
can have, with all their inspiration. With the 
intimate intonations of the great dead, a patriotic 
past calls us to make the future patriotic also. 
My young friend stirred a great depth of loyalty 
to-night. Let us live for our people live for 
the State, which in her poverty calls on every 
man for his highest endeavour. He that hesitates 
to respond is unworthy to lie in her sacred soil, 
where our fathers rest and where their deeds 
light the path to the highest duty." 

Every man at the table had moist eyes and 
a quickened pulse; and presently the little com- 
pany dissolved. 

When I shook hands with the President, he said : 
"My son, the future calls you." 

I walked again across the yard, past Professor 
Thomas's. There was a light in only one window. 
Is it hers ? I wondered, as I went to Greenwood 
Cottage for my last night there. 

I knelt, as I said with fervour, "O God, I thank 
Thee for my country and for her. " 



CHAPTER VII 

THE BURIAL OF AN EPOCH 

IT WAS my grandfather's ninety-fifth birthday 
and we were gathered to celebrate it at the 
Old Place. 

"Yes, he's becoming feeble," said my Aunt 
Eliza, when I arrived that morning. " He eats 
less. He sleeps more. During the last year he has 
become more and more silent. He wishes us to 
talk, but he says little himself. " 

"Does he like you to read to him?" 

"No, but he has been reading a little himself 
lately. His sight is wonderful, shrunken as his 
eyes are. But he is apparently idle as well as 
silent most of the day. It is amusing and pathetic 
to see him sitting quiet and Uncle Ephraim 
nearby fallen asleep. 

"He had us ransack the garret not long 
ago to find pamphlets and speeches published 
before the war. He lives more and more in 
the old times. 

"He sent for Judge Bartholomew, who is al- 
most as feeble as father himself. But he came 
and they talked about the politics and the public 

81 



82 THE SOUTHERNER 

plans of their young days; and each paid to the 
other a hundred times, 'What excellent good 
judgment!' Your grandfather had Judge Bar- 
tholomew go over his will, but he has not told 
me why. " 

When I went into the sitting room, the old 
man arose, with Ephraim's help. 

"God bless you, my son. I am glad you've 
come." His small, sunken eyes seemed as clear 
as ever. 

He walked out to his accustomed seat on the 
piazza, and, when he had adjusted himself to 
his chair and given his cane to Uncle Ephraim, 
he made a surprising speech to me. 

"Nicholas, my son, I have wished to see your 
mother. Has she not come ? No ? 

"Well, she must come. I wish to confer with 
her, for I wish you to go to Harvard College." 

("Whar's dat, ol' Marster?") 

"Topook at our country's problems from another 
view from a distance. We have had a dis- 
tracting period here since you were born. In 
the North I hear they have done some works that 
we have too long deferred some public works 
that we should have constructed if (and he 
seemed to fall into a sort of reverie) --if Judge 
Bartholomew had won the day of most ex- 
cellent judgment." 

Looking up at me again, "It is well to travel. 



THE BURIAL OF AN EPOCH 83 

You have, I hear, done well at college. You 
must go and see what works have been done." 
He stopped a moment, as if to recover breath, 
before he went on. 

"Yes, grandfather." 

" I will confer with your mother about the share 
of the plantation that will go to your father's 
estate, to pay your expenses. Perhaps it might 
be sold now " 

("Sell de Ian', or Marster?") 

"After a year or two you will have time enough 
to settle down and - 

("Dere'll be less Ian' a'ter some on it's sol'.") 

He dropped his turkey-wing fan over the ban- 
ister and Ephraim went to pick it up, saying to 
himself: 

"Don' lak dat sellin' ob de Ian'." 

"When Mr. Clay was here - " my grandfather 
said, but Ephraim interrupted him: 

"Is he libin' yit?" 

"His spirit still lives, Ephraim." 

("Speerits o' jus' men made parfec'.") 

"Our public improvements - 

("He must be a mighty ol' man --Mars' 
Henry Clay by dis time. ") 

"I have conferred with Judge Bartholomew, 
of excellent judgment, and we thought Harvard 
College, in Massachusetts, a proper place to 
learn of the works that have been done. They 



84 THE SOUTHERNER 

had men of excellent judgment in Massachusetts 
in the old days. Our works must be constructed. " 

("Glad Mars' Littlenick gwine whar he wan' 
to go, but I don' lak dat sellin' ob de Ian'. ") 

Other members of the family had now come. 

"I am pleased to see you, my children" that 
was his precise formula, as everyone greeted him. 

There was one great-grandchild, a baby; and 
the old man asked its name three or four times 
before it seemed to stay in his memory. Then 
he'd say, "A likely child." 

But that day did not have the jovial spirit that 
we had meant it to have, chiefly because of my 
grandfather's silence. We had expected his old- 
time volleys of questions, serious and playful, 
whereby he used to make us tell all our adventures 
and opinions. Even dinner passed without much 
talk, and we felt constrained. A change had 
surely come over him. 

He slept much of the afternoon, and Aunt 
Eliza explained to us the plans that he and Uncle 
Ephraim had made even within the last year to 
build a new ginnery and to cut a new road out to 
the main road and thus make "the avenue" 
longer "in spite of the fact," said she pathetic- 
ally, "that he hasn't a dollar in the world to pay 
for building anything." 

But the impulse to build was waning now and 
the "instinct of death" was coming, as gently 



THE BURIAL OF AN EPOCH 85 

and naturally as our instinct for sleep when the 
day's work is done. 

Early in the evening, Uncle Ephraim announced 
that my grandfather was in bed "kivvered up 
jes' lak a chile." He had recently ceased to 
have supper with the family, but took his toast 
alone. 

Aunt Eliza went to his bedroom, as was her 
custom, and we all followed her. We gathered 
about the high four-post bed. 

"We have come to tell you good-night, grand- 
father/' 

There, framed by the pillow and the linen, was 
the strong, wrinkled, but serene old face smiling 
and saying: 

"God bless you, my children, to the second 
and the third and the fourth generations. " 

As we gathered again in the sitting room one 
after another wiped away a tear of joy, perhaps, 
that we had all seen him again, or perhaps of 
fear; for he had changed, and the Great Day 
would not be long in coming. 

It was not ten days later, when a messenger 
came, saying that he was dead. Let Uncle 
Ephraim tell the story: 

"I come out 'n de li'l room into de big room 
whar he sleep, same as I does ev'r mornin'; 
and I buil' a li'l fire in de fire-place an' I whets 
de razzor an' gits de warm water ready. Den I 



86 THE SOUTHERNER 

look 'roun' at de big bed and oY Marster lay dere 
jes' as still as a chile. ' Mighty quare,' seys I to 
myse'f. ' He don' usual sleep dat er way dis time 
er de morninY Den I stole ter de bed, and 'for' 
God ! what did I see ? 

"Miss 'Liza, she knock sof on de doo' 'bout dat 
time, and she say, *Unc' Ephum, is father still 
'sleep ?' 

"When she see me lookin' at him in de bed, 
den she say, 'Father!' 

" But ol' Marster never answer. 

" ' Father!' she say ag'in. 

" But ol' Marster never answer. 

"Den she say: 

" 'Daid! Ephum, he's daid!' 

" <O1' Marster done gone home/ I says; 'done 
gone home, sleepin' jes' lak a chile in de big bed, 
an' lef his ol' sarvan' behin'. Did'n' say nothin' 
-jes' gon' 'sleep lak a li'l chile/ ' 

It seemed to me that the history of the world 
fell into two periods one that had gone before, 
and the other that now began ; for, when we buried 
him, we seemed to be burying a standard of 
judgment, a social order, an epoch. 

The mill not only ran, but by this time it 
had, under my brother's good management, 
been enlarged. I could go to Harvard College 
without my grandfather's aid. In fact I did 



THE BURIAL OF AN EPOCH 87 

not receive his aid because, for one reason, the 
old plantation could not now have been sold 
to advantage. He had left a part of it in 
his will to Ephraim, "my faithful servant and 
wise companion for more than sixty years." 
The whole place, therefore, was put under 
Ephraim's management. Old as he was, he was 
yet vigorous. 

"It's the only thing to do," said my brother; 
"for old Ephraim belongs there as long as he 
shall be able to get about and he can do more 
with the place than anybody else." 

But my grandfather's suggestion took deep 
root in my mind, and it was decided that I should 
go to Harvard. He hit upon Harvard chiefly 
because Judge Bartholomew knew something about 
it; and they both reached such a judgment by 
their large intuition, for their minds moved in a 
big orbit. My grandfather did not even know 
the bitterness and the sectional feeling that the 
Civil War had aroused. 

There was some criticism of the plan among 
my acquaintances. My mother herself had a 
silent misgiving because it seemed so far from home 
and from all our friends from "our people." 
To others it seemed a wild plan, tinged with a 
sort of treason. Tom Warren, for instance, 
said when I next saw him: 

"Heavens, Worth! to the bitterest part of the 



88 THE SOUTHERNER 

North, the home of the old abolitionism and hatred 
of the South!" 

I knew little about it myself, but the plan 
appealed strongly to my sense of intellectual 
adventure. 

And Margaret was yet very young. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE EXPANDING YEARS 

PERHAPS it was too late to make more ultimate 
intimacies in college, but the fellow who lived 
across the hall from me, in Harvard, became my 
good friend not, I confess, precipitately. But 
what our friendship lacked in haste it has made up 
in endurance. 

Everybody with whom I had to do was polite 
it seemed to me studiously and conscientiously 
polite; but my speech was noticeably Southern. 
Perhaps that was a barrier. Naturally shy, too, 
I was not tactful, I dare say, in making advances. 
Whatever was the matter, I encountered a reserve 
such as I had not before seen in youth or in men. 
I had not known reserved persons. Even my 
neighbour Cooley's somewhat formal interest in 
me, therefore, was very welcome. 

I discovered later that there was at first a tinge 
of suspicion even in his attitude toward me He 
had known but one Southerner before, a fellow 
who came to college the year when he entered, 
a dandy, who wore conspicuous clothes, and owed 
his tailor, and owed him yet; who brought letters 

8 9 



go THE SOUTHERNER 

to the Holworths, made love at the same time to 
four young girls in their set, borrowed money 
from his room-mate, knocked down a coloured 
student, and ran away and wrote fierce letters 
from Alabama. 

"Seceded/' I remarked, when Cooley told me 
about him. 

Cooley's mind moved cautiously and always in 
a straight line, but his curiosity about many South- 
ern subjects hastened his approaches in spite of 
his reserve. 

One day he asked me if the whites were not 
permitted to attend the schools that the Northern 
missionary societies had established in the South 
for the Negroes. 

After I tried to explain the relation of the 
races, he asked: "Well, then, how will the Crackers 
- the poor whites ever learn good English ?" 

Another day he wished to know my opinion 
whether there would be a race war if the Federal 
troops should be withdrawn from the South. 

No, I thought not. 

"Well, in case there should be, do you think 
the mulattoes would take the side of their white 
fathers or of their black mothers?" 

Cooley's logical simplicity gave me many things 
to write to my mother and to Margaret his 
mind was so orderly! 

But we each gradually solved the riddle of the 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 91 

other. He used to twit me with carrying my 
"immortal soul" on my sleeve. 

"Why, Worth," he'd say, "you tell me things 
as a matter of course that no other man I ever knew 
would disclose under torture." 

But my "immortal soul" was a very simple 
thing and there was no mystery about it. I had 
grown up in an atmosphere (a raw atmosphere, 
no doubt,) wherein we permitted our emotions 
to have free play, till in many cases they had been 
mistaken for thought, I dare say a raw, rural 
society where there was a suppression of thought 
but never a natural reserve. He had grown up 
in an atmosphere in which it was not good form 
to let one's self go. 

My cousin, Margaret, and his sister, Adelaide 
Cooley, illustrated this difference. If you had 
never seen Margaret nor heard of her and if she 
were merely to flit by a door where you got only 
the swiftest glimpse of her, that glimpse would 
reveal a beautiful girl. Her motion and the 
liquefaction of her clothes would tell you as much. 
But you might spend a month with Adelaide 
Cooley and then find yourself asking whether 
or not she were beautiful. You were not sure. 
She had no "motion," and her clothes suggested 
petrifaction. Yet, after all these years to think 
the subject over, I assure you that she was 
probably as beautiful as Margaret. But being 



92 THE SOUTHERNER 

beautiful was not the business of her life. She was 
athletic. She rowed, she skated, she belonged 
to a walking club and walked ten miles at a time. 
She was strong rather than graceful. Yet she 
had a superb fulness of life and rich-flowing 
blood. My cousin and she were both young 
women; but that is all that they seemed to have 
in common. Margaret moved softly, spoke slow- 
ly, was restful in motion and in tone and in spirit - 
the perfection of womanhood for a young fellow 
to love, surely. Adelaide Cooley was good for 
the outdoors, and for an almost masculine com- 
panionship. To talk love to Margaret was inevit- 
able; for one thing, there was little else to talk 
about. But the young man did not live, I was 
sure, who had or who easily could mention that 
subject to Adelaide at that time at least. Books, 
art, music, sport she suggested everything that 
went on in the world of exercise, physical or 
mental. She had tastes, she had preferences, 
she had a most orderly mind, but emotions - 
except enthusiasm for sport and for knowledge 
- she did not seem to have. 

So much did I yet have to learn, in spite of my 
intellectual emancipation that was already giving 
me great joy. 

There was no real reason for surprise in Cooley's 
first attitude to me nor in the attitude of other 
men whom I met; for the Southern youth of that 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 93 

time in particular had what I shall call the ora- 
torical habit of mind. We thought in rotund, 
even grandiose, phrases. Rousing speech came 
more naturally than accuracy of statement. A 
somewhat exaggerated manner and a tendency 
to sweeping generalizations were easy to us. You 
can yet trace this quality in the minds and the 
speech of the great majority of Southern men of 
my generation, especially men in public life. It 
came from an undue development of their emo- 
tional nature and a lack of exact training the 
result of a system of life and of study that was 
mediaeval. 

The furnishing of our minds was of a correspond- 
ing grandiose and general quality. I had not read 
a dozen books of American literature. Poe was 
the only one of our poets who was regarded serious- 
ly in my circle of acquaintances. I had read widely 
and loosely in English literature, and I knew the 
Greek writers better than I knew any American 
writers. If I had come out of a monastery I 
should hardly have been more of a stranger to 
the great economic world, the practical world 
about me, or to American life, than I was the day 
I went to Harvard. 

One day, in my absence, among the men at the 
table where I ate, the conversation turned on me. 
Somebody recalled the bombastic young fellow 
who had brought all Southerners under suspicion, 



94 THE SOUTHERNER 

and somebody else maintained that Southerners 
were all alike. I was a quieter sort of fellow 
but wait and see. I'd make a fool of myself yet. 

Then Cooley came to my rescue. "I tell you, 
boys, he's the real thing genuine. You do the 
man an injustice. He's a nice fellow. He speaks 
his Southern lingo, but he's square." 

Having defended me he now came nearer and 
by his good offices I became acquainted with other 
men under favourable conditions. 

He implanted in the minds of his mother and 
sister (they lived in Boston) a curiosity about me 
some time before I knew them. He used to quote 
to them what he regarded as my unusual sayings, 
so that they knew much about my grandfather and 
Uncle Ephraim and Colonel Graham and Professor 
Randall before I was invited to dine with them. 

Inevitably at dinner the talk turned on the 
Southern subjects. A story that I had told them 
of the excessive religious life of the country people 
startled Mrs. Cooley into saying: 

"I didn't know the poor country people in the 
South had churches of their own or religion of 
any sort. We are always sending money there for 



missions.' 



"Why mother!" exclaimed Adelaide. 

A young lady at the table, a friend of Adelaide's, 
asked me to explain the "Cult of Uncle Remus." 
It is but fair to her to say that everybody in the 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 95 

world had not then read Uncle Remus. He was 
new and he spoke an unknown tongue to this group 
of people. 

"The Cult of Uncle Remus," I repeated, ponder- 
ing the impulse to which I at last yielded. "Yes, 
that is the Cult of the Hare. There was a power- 
ful African tribe who had this religion; and a 
slave-dealer long, long ago, from Bristol, Rhode 
Island, captured the crown prince of the tribe and 
he was sold in the slave-market at Charleston, 
South Carolina. But, through all the horrors 
of slavery, he kept his ancestral religious cult and 
handed it down to his oldest son, and he to his 
oldest son. 

"Uncle Remus * uncle' really meaning priest 
is the direct descendant of this prince; and he 
is now the head of the Cult. " 

I expected my yarn to be broken off before I 
had unwound even this much. But the young 
lady asked: 

"Do they really worship the rabbit?" 

"Well, the degradation of slavery, you know, 
caused all the African religions to be corrupted 
and the Uncle Remus of our day has a corrupted 
version of these religious tales and ceremonies." 

"Something like Voodoo?" 

"No, not cruel. On the contrary, the Cult of 
the Hare is a very gentle thing. They tell it to 
little white boys. Every neighbourhood almost 



96 THE SOUTHERNER 

every family - - has an ' uncle ' who keeps these 
traditions alive, and he is a gentle old man." 

Nobody had smiled yet. 

"And do they admit white persons to their 
ceremonies ? " asked Adelaide. 

"And mulattoes?" asked her friend. "Is Joel 
Chandler Harris a very black man ?" 

"As black as night," said I. 

"And does he believe in this cult or has he 
written out these stories as a contribution to com- 
parative religions?" 

"I do not know. Mr. Harris is a very reticent 



man." 



Mrs. Cooley confirmed my story by saying that 
there are now families in Bristol whose fortune 
was laid by the slave-trade and that they had never, 
even to this day, quite recovered from the moral 
taint of their ancestors. 

If the humorous sense of the Cooleys seemed 
to me a little sluggish on that particular day, it is 
only fair to remember that we had lived in such 
different worlds that we hardly spoke the same 
language on that group of subjects. 

But what an emancipation I owed to that candid 
and straight habit of thought and life which has no 
social or intellectual punishment for those who 
differed from it, at least on the subjects about which 
I was then especially concerned! 

I even now recall with gratitude the freedom 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 97 

that I felt and the rest in having my own religious 
doubts di pelled. It was like the tingle of the New 
England air in the early spring. But my mother ? 
And Margaret ? Dear little Margaret would not 
even understand why there had been any doubts in 
the first place. I wrote nothing of these things 
to them. 

But I did write to John Gary: 

"It is as we suspected. In Germany, in Eng- 
land, and here, every really independent mind has 
long ago thrown away those mediaeval dogmas. 
The histories and biographies and recollections 
and traditions that make up the Bible were 
gathered from many sources. Critical scholar- 
ship has now traced them all, or nearly all, to 
their authors or to the places and times of their 
origin; and many of them were written by other 
men than the men whose names they bear. 

"Of course, too, the doctrine, that your conduct 
will depend on your faith in these books, is false. 
People talk about these things here with perfect 
freedom. I'll send you a number of books if 
you have time and a mind to read them that will 
clear up the old difficulty." 

I soon received this answer: 

"It was very good of you to have my soul's 
salvation at heart in the new world that you're 
gone to conquer. Thank you, thank you, very 
much; and what you say is reassuring. 



9 8 THE SOUTHERNER 

"But I've ceased to trouble myself about the 
matter. Father and mother had, of course, to 
give up their plan of my going into the pulpit; 
and, as soon as they abandoned that, I ceased to 
bother myself. I don't believe the old stuff, of 
course. I never did. But they do! And I can't 
discuss the subject with them or with anybody 
here. I simply go on in silence. I'm in business 
now, you know building a railroad; and, so 
long as I go to church, say nothing about religious 
doctrine, and vote the Democratic ticket, I'm all 
right. And I'm going to keep up a show of acquies- 
cence in the old order of things as long as the old 
folks live. I wouldn't give them pain for the world. 
It would simply kill my mother to read this letter, 
and as for father he'd go to the lunatic asylum 
- or send me there. 

"I will keep the peace; and, since I am kept 
busy at practical affairs, it's all right. 

"Thank you, old man. Don't send any books. 
I must live with the dear old folks, and I wouldn't 
have such books as you'd send in the house. 
We'll talk over these things some day, I hope. 
Great success to you!" 

John Gary is yet an interesting man to those who 
knew him when he was young. But his suppres- 
sion made him a cynic, and very greatly embittered 
his life. He himself has said: "I had to live a lie 
too long." 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 99 

My old blind speculations and wonderings and 
gropings and fears and hopes about science now 
gave way to a revel of freedom and to eager and 
frank inquiry. There must be youth who come 
every year upon that tingling surprise of first find- 
ing out what science teaches about the universe 
or do they now acquire it in childhood as a matter 
of course ? 

For the first time I got a conception of its order- 
liness, its immensity, its continuity, its fruitfulness, 
the place that man holds in it; how our "cooling 
cinder" is a negligible part of a small solar system, 
which is itself a negligible and transitory part of 
the universe ; how man came up a sane theory 
at least, in place of a fable that told nothing - 
how by slow steps he has organized society; how 
even yet we have close kin-creatures in the jungle; 
how we hinder our rational organization and our 
conquest over Nature by wasting time in wars with 
guns and wars with words; how we hold to mere 
neighbourhood notions and superstitions and tradi- 
tions of a day of blindness as sacred things, and 
follow now meaningless forms of worship, con- 
ceived in a time of scientific darkness; how we 
wrangle over governmental or social or educational 
formulas and doctrines "of the fathers," instead of 
banishing disease from the earth and organizing 
society to train a scientifically high-bred race! 

The sweeping generalizations and possibilities 



ioo THE SOUTHERNER 

both of the physical and of the historical sciences, 
most of which are now nursery commonplaces, 
were then first receiving formulation for laymen; 
and my reading and my talks with men of the same 
eagerness of mind brought an intellectual exaltation. 
While I missed my old Southern companions, I 
feared that they would be companions no more. 

But, if I could not write to Margaret of these 
things, I could tell her of the music, which I now 
heard for the first time, of the audiences, of the 
splendour of the women on gala occasions, and 
a few great paintings that I had seen. I had before 
seen nothing better than family portraits, most of 
which were very badly done. 

And my mother I could explain to her the 
Cooley home, where there was an orderliness of 
a different sort from my mother's orderliness. It 
was more elaborate. The Cooleys had many 
more things in their house than I had ever seen in 
a house before, and yet every thing had its place. 

"Such orderliness leaves nothing to the imagina- 
tion/' I said to myself when I first saw it. But 
I soon came to thank heaven that it left the imagi- 
nation for other and higher uses. I fancy that 
Southern housewives of the old time spent more 
energy in directing and doing over the work of 
slaves than will be required to conduct the whole 
domestic economy of the millennium. I was 
reminded of the famous talker of our little capital 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 101 

who had recently died and of whom Dr. Benson 
had said truly, "He spent more intellectual energy 
and wit in entertaining loafers at the hotel than 
any man in town spent on his profession." So 
our Southern women of social importance spent 
more energy in managing slaves and in fussing 
with them than the women of Boston spent in 
acquiring a knowledge of literature and the arts. 

There were several Southern coloured students 
in college. I came to know one of them because 
he and I exchanged confidences about the extreme 
Bostonian intonations and inflections of the lecturer 
under whom we sat. Coming out of the class- 
room, this coloured lad would amuse us by mimick- 
ing him and then by translating parts of the lecture 
into good "nigger" English, which only he and 
I of the company could understand. 

He amused other students by exaggerating our 
Southern drawl and inflections. 

Another coloured student came into much 
notoriety for a time by an accident that made him 
a hero. 

He had his room in a private house and some- 
body hired the house who objected to his presence 
because he was a Negro. This as once raised a 
storm of protest. It was the first display that I 
had seen of that sentimentality toward black persons 
which makes them pets and victims of a 
determined and ostentatious display of "justice." 



102 THE SOUTHERNER 

Nobody had hitherto paid any especial atten- 
tion to this fellow till it appeared that he was 
persecuted. Instantly the "New England con- 
science" became active and showed its morbidity. 
Everybody seemed bent on doing what nobody 
would naturally and normally have done before. 
A dozen men offered to take him as their room- 
mate. It should never be said of them that they 
had suffered a man to be unjustly dealt with because 
of the colour of his skin. One of these generous 
volunteers was Cooley. He'd take him as a room- 
mate at once. 

"I suppose you'd regard it as a degradation, 
Worth, but I can't see that man hounded because 
he is black." 

It was a fine spirit. But Cooley was too late in 
his good impulse. Another man had anticipated 
him. A man named Foster, who had an hereditary 
claim to abolitionist sensitiveness, had helped the 
Negro move his books and belongings into his 
own rooms; and for the rest of that year they 
lived together. 

The way of the saints who fail to take every-day 
facts into account is still a hard way. Foster was 
years later black-balled in a social club in a 
Western (not a Southern) city, by peculiar persons 
to whom this generous conduct made him objection 
able, for their zeal had a different tangent. 

This foolish incident gave me much to think 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 103 

about. I had known before that we had a grave 
" Southern problem," which included white people 
and Negroes too. It was now that I first found out 
that we had also a " Negro problem." For two 
years the Negro student had been there and no 
white lad had invited him to share his room. 
When the new tenants of the house objected to him, 
I could not see why it did not occur to his friends 
to help him find another room for himself. That 
is what would have happened if he had been a 
white boy --if anything would have happened. 
But, since he was black, that was not enough. 
Dozen of men who had not even been his friends 
had not known him felt impelled to take him 
into intimacy. Impelled by what ? I had only 
a psychological interest in the incident. But that 
interest was, I confess, great. I asked Cooley, 
but he could not explain this to me very satisfac- 
torily. 

"Cooley," said I, " suppose the boy had been a 
German boy, and the people in the house had said 
that they objected to a German, would you have 
asked him to room with you?" 

"Certainly not. Why should I ?" 

"If he had been a Roman Catholic, or a Jew, 
and objection had been raised to his religion or to 
his race, would you have come to his rescue ?" 

"Certainly not. Why should I?" 

"Why, then, merely because he is a Negro? 



io 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

Wouldn't the German or the Roman Catholic or 
the Jew also be victims of 'persecution' ?" 

"No." 

"It becomes * persecution,' then, only when the 
victim is black ?" 

It was many years afterward' that I ventured 
this definition of the Negro in the United States: 

"A person of African blood (much or little) 
about whom men of English descent tell only half 
the truth and because of whom they do not act with 
frankness and sanity either toward the Negro or 
to one another in a word, about whom they 
easily lose their common sense, their usual good 
judgment, and even their powers of accurate obser- 
vation. The Negro-in-America, therefore, is a 
form of insanity that overtakes white men." 

This definition may have ethnological defects, 
but psychologically and historically much can be 
said in its favour. 

The vacation months of that year I spent in 
Europe with a little group of Harvard men, and 
thus I was away from home for two years. 

During my second year, being now at ease and 
having got my bearings, I worked in a new field 
of intellectual labour with zest and happiness - 
taking time now and then to wonder whether 
Adelaide Cooley, since I had come to know her 
better, were really less beautiful than Margaret. 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 105 

I had not seen my cousin for so long a time that 
this question was hard to answer. I had it, there- 
fore, for consideration whenever I chose, during 
that whole year. The marvels of the universe 
excited me less violently, my old religious tortures 
were happily ended, and I gave my full working 
power to my historical and economic studies. 

I did a task of research, an honest if poor thing, 
in a field that was new to my instructors to wit, 
an inquiry to show the good start in varied indus- 
tries that my native State had made while it was a 
colony, how, indeed, it had outstripped the colony 
of Massachusetts Bay; and I made an effort to 
show what would have been the results, in the 
history of our country, if slavery had been pre- 
vented and such " works" as my grandfather used 
to speak of had been done. The novelty of the 
subject, at that time and in that place, and the 
earnestness that my work showed won me the 
applause of my Department. 

In the midst of this inquiry, when my mind was 
full of the facts that I was finding out and of 
nothing else, an affectionate letter came from Pro- 
fessor Randall, my old teacher of Greek. He had 
found an error a very little error (but all scholastic 
errors are of the same size) in a technical paper 
by the Professor of Greek at Harvard an error 
in a reference to the use of the preposition with the 
infinitive in a certian passage of Aristophanes. 



io6 THE SOUTHERNER 

Since it would be unseemly in him to correct a 
Northern scholar in a Northern journal (there was 
no Southern philological journal), I might use the 
information, if I would. "Use it gently," he 
adjured me. 

I still thank heaven for such a gentleman as 
that! What a long-lost world this letter brought 
back to me! For I did not even know the Pro- 
fessor of Greek at Harvard, and I had not (the 
greater my shame) opened a Greek text since I 
had come there. How far we travel sometimes on 
a little journey! 

My thesis in economics brought me my degree 
and to my surprise an offer of an instructor's 
position in the college for the next year. I sup- 
pose that I now pronounced our mother tongue 
without the most noticeable Southern intonations 
and elisions. At any rate I now escaped being 
often reminded by look or word that I was a 
Southerner. 

I was pleased by this offer, but well, I had had 
no other thought than to go home. But what 
should I do when I went South ? 

I was now at home at Harvard; free, too, as I 
had not before been. Could I ever be free in the 
South ? 

But I seemed to hear the flow of the river where 
it ever turned the little mill; I thought of my 
mother and of her heroic endurance for me, of 



THE EXPANDING YEARS 107 

my sister, Barbara, now a girl quite grown, of my 
cousin, Margaret, the restful softness of her 
speech and ways expecting me and of the 
grave of the old man to whose large intuition I 
owed these expanding years. I thought of my 
own people -- the openness of their lives, their 
humour, the glow of their unrepressed kindliness, 
their closeness to the soil, of the pathos of their 
lives, too, and of their ancient misfortunes, of their 
barren inheritance and of their hard problems, 
and these drew me. I recalled our Southern spring 
with its perfumed and brilliant woodland, and 
the smell of ploughed ground and the soft, cool 
nights; and sweet orchards, with bees, and the 
roses running on garden fences; the green choir 
of the pines, the flickering brown carpet of their 
sanctuary and the fathomless blue dome above 
them. I thought of the ripe, deep summer now 
coming on a mellow land and of the white 
fields opening their fleece to the sun. 

All these meant home, a home that pathetically 
called to all its sons to build on the old foundations, 
laid before the Great Shadow crept over the land. 



CHAPTER IX 

MY COMING HOME 

AS SOON as I crossed the Potomac on my jour- 
jf\. ney homeward, I was aware that I was coming 
into another world. A feeling of homelessness came 
over me and I felt a doubt whether I really knew 
either of these worlds. I recalled the remark of 
a Professor of History at Harvard, that these two 
peoples were radically different, that the folk of 
New England and the folk of the South would 
never wholly understand one another and would 
never be really one people. I had laughed at this 
remark. But had I not laughed ignorantly ? 

I had forgotten even how sparsely the country 
was settled through which I was going. I had for- 
gotten the neglected homes visible from the cars, 
the cabins about which half-naked Negro children 
played and from which ragged men and women, 
drunk with idleness, stared at the train, the ill- 
kept railway stations where crowds of loafers 
stood with their hands in their pockets and spat 
at cracks in the platform, unkempt countrymen, 
heavy with dyspepsia and malaria, idle Negroes, 
and village loafers. There had been a heavy rain 

1 08 



MY COMING HOME 109 

and the roads, where I caught glimpses of them, 
were long mudholes. It occurred to me for the 
first time that this region is yet a frontier a 
new land untouched except by pioneers, pioneers 
who had merely lingered till they had thought 
the land worn out and who thought that their old 
order of life now destroyed by Time's pressure 
of which war was the instrument had been the 
crown of civilization. Here was poverty a de- 
pressed population, the idle squalor of the Negro 
now that slavery was relaxed, and the hopeless 
inertia of the white man who had been deadened 
by an old economic error. 

Was it my home and my land, where there were 
no neat villages and well-kept lawns and painted 
fences as in New England ? Would I would any 
man who had seen the green hills of New York 
and of Pennsylvania or who knew about the rich 
prairies of Ohio and Illinois ever come to live here 
because the land or the life drew him ? If those 
that I loved did not live here, would I ever dream 
of coming back ? 

The journey stretched itself through the long 
hot day, and time and chance came for many 
moods. 

The loafing Negroes were so good-natured that 
I began to see many things to laugh at. They 
were an elemental part of the landscape, belonged 
to it as elephants or monkeys belonged to Africa. 



no THE SOUTHERNER 

The earth itself seemed to revolve slowly. It 
was another country from the country whence I 
had come. It must be accepted as it is, I reflected, 
and judged by its own standard. 

We passed an excursion train of Negroes, which 
was standing on a side-track. Women with red 
head-kerchiefs leaned far out the windows and 
called loudly to acquaintances a hundred yards 
away; and men crowded the platform and hung 
on the steps all hot, all happy, all vociferous. 

One old man called to a boy: "Whar yo 
gwine, Jonas ?" 

"Aint gwine no whar. Done bin whar Fz 
gwine. " 

At last I slipped back into my former self, and 
the stations and the long stretches of country 
became familiar to me as we came nearer to 
Marlborough ; and I began to feel at home again, 
or nervously eager to be at home. I recalled my 
own impassioned description of the old red hills 
and of the pine barrens. "They once bred men; 
they shall breed men again." And at last a 
sort of patient pride swelled up in me that 
I, too, was a part of this land, had roots deep 
in it, felt it, knew it, understood it, believed in 
it as men who had come into life elsewhere 
could not. 

I approached the little capital city with eager 
excitement. Of course the dusty train was several 



MY COMING HOME in 

hours late, but it came bravely, with a great blowing 
of the whistle and much ringing of the bell, into 
the same dirty "shed"; there were the same 
noisy Negro hackmen, shouting as if the travellers 
were a mile away, and pointing with their whips 
to the same ramshackle carriages that I had seen 
in my boyhood; the same black and yellow women 
held apparently the same fried chicken and hard- 
boiled eggs up to the car windows, insisting on their 
freshness; and the same Negro boys offered red 
apples at a profitless low price. The noise was 
out of proportion to the six or eight passengers 
who, in dirty linen "dusters," had at last reached 
the end of their belated journey. You might 
have thought from the number of carriages and 
coachmen that the whole population of "the city" 
had been "to the North" and was expected home 
on that train. 

It was very hot. The afternoon air danced 
before your eyes as you looked up the dusty road 
toward the town. That day's train to Millworth 
had already gone, and I must "lay over" till 
to-morrow, or go the hot twelve miles, over an 
almost impassable country road, the memory of 
which now came to me with dread. 

At the hotel, there seemed to be three or four 
Negro porters for every guest, and the clerk ad- 
justed his necktie and put on an air of momentary 
energy as he turned the book to the newcomers. 



ii2 THE SOUTHERNER 

He bowed and gave a pen to the first of the four, 
and for everyone in turn he had a remark: 

"Pretty warm, Major." 

"A little late to-day." 

" Rather dusty up the road." 

With such phrases he raised expectations of 
coolness and promptness and cleanliness that 
you afterward looked for in vain. The big, 
square, bare, dirty room, the chipped pitcher on 
the washstand, the broken bricks above the fire- 
place, against which the feet of last winter's 
statesmen had pressed too often and too hard, 
the split-bottom chairs whose seats had sagged 
with the long-borne weight of heavy, lazy men, 
the soiled and torn window shades and the dirty 
windows (was nothing ever mended or washed ?) 
as I looked out to the court-house across the 
street, I saw a Negro boy spinning a top and five 
white men standing about him, resting heavily 
on their own trousers' pockets; and the whole 
unchanged and unchangeable scene and surround- 
ings amused me in spite of my depression. Surely 
I had seen all these things before in some previous 
embodiment. For I was two men one who 
knew this scene and contentedly took it for .granted, 
and another to whom it now came as a revelation 
of despair. 

As I walked toward the' State House, the treeless 
street seemed absurdly wide, making the business 



MY COMING HOME 113 

buildings on either side ludicrously squatty; for, 
since I had been gone, the Board of Trade, wish- 
ing to give the business part of the town a metro- 
politan appearance, had induced the aldermen 
to cut down the elms which fifty years had made 
beautiful. Broadway, in New York, they said, 
had no trees on it. 

But the oaks in the capitol square yet stood, 
and the dignified little granite State House was 
impressive, its deeply worn stone steps suggesting 
antiquity. It was cool and shady there; and the 
squirrels ran over the grass and scampered up the 
trees, showing far more energy than any other 
creatures I had yet seen. The wide avenue that 
led to the left to Dr. Benson's there, too, the 
old elms still stood. What a beautiful village 
street it was, leading past the churches, and the 
deep-shaded girls' seminary with its ivy-covered 
stone buildings, on by modest, shaded old homes 
from whose yards the heavy odour of magnolias 
came! This at last was what I had come to, and 
it was worth coming to. I met nobody on the 
street that knew me; but I recognized the old 
man who kept the drugstore, whose white hair was 
always oiled and carefully brushed high above his 
kindly face. He bowed as we met; for men did 
not then pass even strangers on the street without 
greeting. And I met an old Negro man who 
pulled off his hat to me. 



ii 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

Aunt Katharine herself met me at the Benson 
door, become more beautiful, I thought, with the 
deeper gray (almost whiteness now) that these 
two years had added to her hair. After a glad 
greeting her eyes moist from the joy of the 
surprise she called "Margaret come; guess 
who's here. Hurry, child." 

They would have me stand up with my back 
against the door to measure my height six feet, 
and a bare inch more. Of course I had not grown 
taller, but a little side-beard (the fashion, then, 
among young collegians) gave me a somewhat 
strange, a sort of foreign appearance. Margaret 
took me first by one arm and turned me about, 
gazing at me playfully, then by the other arm, 
and looking up said with mockery, "A great, 
big man-cousin, from a foreign country, and he 
talks a foreign language too!" 

There was no doubt now which was the more 
beautiful. The liquefaction of her voice as well 
as of her clothes surpassed even my loneliest 
recollection of their soft sound and motion. 

It was the tender welcome of the old years. 
A cool cleanliness covered everything as a garment. 
The plainness and the coolness and the old fashion 
and the neatness of the house, the speech and the 
intonations and the smiles of my kinswomen were 
grateful. The very furniture seemed to greet 
me affectionately. 



MY COMING HOME 115 

Good Doctor Benson came in from his office 
and his dignified gaiety and his heartiness as he 
stood before me with both hands on my shoulders 
showed the kindliness which is the first quality 
of a gentleman. 

The frolicsome girlishness of my cousin's manner 
reminded me of the day in the garret at the Old 
Place. Yet she was a grown woman now, and 
presently I felt a certain new dignity in her tone as 
the conversation turned to family subjects. She 
answered questions about my mother and Barbara 
in a manner that said, " I am now among the grown- 
ups." 

"The Old Place is just as it was, they say. I 
have not seen it, but they tell me that Uncle 
Ephraim is a good master and manager." 

As supper-time came the rector of St. Peter's 
came in, the Reverend Donald Yarborough, whom 
I had known at the Graham school, where he 
was an upper-classman when I entered. Very 
clerical he was, and his intonations were the 
droopings and the dronings of the service. He 
had a solemnity of manner that somewhat checked 
our gaiety; and he spoke of our school-days with 
condescension surely an unreal note. We were 
obliged to talk of church news and church plans, in 
which I observed that my aunt and cousin played 
even a more important part than they had played 
in former years. 



ii6 THE SOUTHERNER 

I felt a renewed wish to go home that night, and 
I hired a horse at the hotel. The road was as bad 
as it had been years before. There were deep 
gulleys in which bushes had been thrown and a 
little earth put over them, and the earth had been 
worn away and the brushes cracked under the 
horses' steps. At other places paths had been cut 
through the woods around holes, too deep to fill up, 
but I rode on eagerly. I passed the old camp- 
ground, now a waste space grown up in broom 
sage, ghostly and desolate in the moonlight. Old 
Jonas Good'in's house had a dim light in it; and 
I wondered whether this were the bottle-period 
or the "converted" period of the old fellow's 
year. 

Just as my brother was about to shut the house 
for the night, I arrived. Although a moment be- 
fore the day had been done for them, for us all 
it now began again. At last I was at home, and 
the old feeling of fathomless gratitude surged over 
me. We asked questions, jumping from this 
subject to that. We wandered over the whole 
house I must see every little change that had 
been made or look at certain rooms because no 
change had been made. Mother prepared a 
late supper with her own hands, almost forbidding 
even my sister to help. 

I recall my mother's restless happiness because 
I had come, and all her three children were again 



MY COMING HOME 117 

with her. While we sat at the table, she would rise 
and touch each of us a hand on this one's 
head, a kiss on this one's cheek, a stroke on this 
one's hand. 

Late as it was when I went to bed in my old 
room, I did not soon fall asleep. 

I lay and let the years pass in procession before 
me. It was the old home. Was it I that had 
changed ? The room seemed at times like one 
that I had once seen somewhere in a dimly remem- 
bered house, or had read about in a half-forgotten 
book. The red clay hearth, the high mantelpiece 
with the odd little clock and the blue jar on it, the 
bare, shining, clean walls, the plain curtains 
these all grasped my remembrance and my 
affections. But were they mine ? 

The door opened softly and I saw my mother 
come in. I kept silent and she came and looked 
down at me: 

"I thought you might be awake. Your coming 
has given me happiness instead of sleep/' and she 
bent over and kissed my forehead. 

Seated on the side of my bed, she talked of 
what I should not now tell you if I could; but 
her presence I recall as one recalls a gentle melody 
or a pleasant odour years afterward. Little 
nothings, pleasantries or recollections, incidents 
of family life, jokes about Barbara and Charles, 
an allusion to my father she was near me and 



ii8 THE SOUTHERNER 

that was her happiness; and full hearts tell the 
deepest emotions by talk of most trivial things. 

"You know, I think Charlie's really in love 
with Alice Maynard. What if it should happen ? 

"Yes, Barbara has finished the Seminary course. 

"I have nothing on earth to do. Charlie 
manages the mill and sometimes almost refuses 
to tell me about it. 

"Yes, your Aunt Eliza is just the same. Didn't 
you think her remarkably cheerful to-night? 

"Are you sure you are comfortable and will not 
be too warm with the bed so far from the window ? " 

At last she stood at the foot of the bed and 
laughed at our spending the night in so foolish 
a fashion "as if all the days to come would not be 
ours to talk over everything." 

"Good-night, dear boy. You are sure you are 
comfortable ? " 

I could hear the flow of the river. In the 
morning I should see the little mill. And the 
fields must now be white and red with the blooms 
of the cotton. 



CHAPTER X 

I SEE GREAT FORCES RANGE THEMSELVES 

IT TAKES some time to recover from collegiate 
astigmatism; and it is doubtful whether my 
cousin Margaret helped me toward recovery. But 
there was no doubt about her beauty nor about 
the grace of her movements. What a variety 
of simple, light summer gowns she had! Al- 
though our Southern summers are long, I did 
not decide that whole summer which colour became 
her best. Such a question has often taxed wiser 
men than I for a longer time, I dare say. But 
this I know all her frocks yielded to her graceful 
ways, as gowns ought to yield to supple motions 
in languid summers; and the days passed in un- 
hurrying wonder how I should serve my country. 

One chance indeed seemed likely to be thrust 
upon me, only to be snatched away. 

I had made up my mind to write a history of 
the Commonwealth, as what youth has not during 
his first summer out of a university ? Thus I 
came to discover the old State Library. Very few 
persons knew that it existed. You wound your 
way up a spiral staircase in the State House till 

119 



120 THE SOUTHERNER 

you came to a dingy room at the base of the dome. 
The librarian was there an old placard on the 
door informed you --between three o'clock and 
five on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during 
the sessions of the Legislature, "unless a notice 
to the contrary was posted beforehand"; but 
any member of the Legislature (they alone were 
supposed to use it) could get the key at any time 
from the office of the State Treasurer on the first 
floor. I often went up there early in the day - 
nobody else came and ransacked the dusty 
piles of miscellaneous things old public account 
books, flags and government reports, which lay on 
the floor obstructing your way to the book-cases. 

Somebody was kind enough to propose, since 
I had found the library, that I become a candidate 
for State Librarian. The office was filled by the 
Governor's appointment; and the next Governor 
doubtless would appoint me if I secured sufficiently 
strong endorsements. The duties were light and 
the salary was $200 a year that much money 
just picked up. 

As soon as .this suggestion was noised about, 
old Mr. Birdcastle, the librarian, who had once 
been foreman in the newspaper office and had 
lost one eye and went on crutches from rheumatism 
(he was, moreover, an old soldier of honourable 
record) became excited. He approached me one 
afternoon : 



I SEE GREAT FORCES 121 

"Mr. Worth, haven't I allers treated you fair?" 
"Certainly, Mr. Birdcastle." 
"I've allers thought you a fair man." 
"I hope you do yet, Mr. Birdcastle." 
"Well, from what I hear, I have sometimes 
thought maybe you wasn't. You see, you're a 
young man with a good eddication, and you've 
got some property and you can do what you've a 
mind to do. I don' see, then, whaffore you want to 
dispersess a poo' man an' a ol' soldier like me of 
this poo' livin' outer this libery. 'Tain't much. 
But it ain't confinin', especially in summer, and 
my health ain't good enough for much else. " 

I assured him that I had no thought of making 
such an effort. Then he proposed to have 
a duplicate key made for me so that I needn't take 
the trouble to go to the Treasurer's office; "for 
many a time, as you know, atter the Legislatur' 
adj'ines, there ain't nobody in the Treasurer's 
office more'n half the time. " 

Marlborough did not seem to me a part of the 
real world, and I am not sure that it seems so yet. 
It had no fixed relation to time or space. It was 
remote and indefinite. One year's calendar was 
as good as another year's there. It was, I suppose, 
the dullest settlement of English-speaking folk in 
the whole world. 

A visiting wag declared that, if it were bodily 
taken up and moved to New York and exhibited 



122 THE SOUTHERNER 

under a huge circus tent everybody leading his 
life without change or knowledge that the town 
was on show the admission fees would build 
the Soldiers' Monument. 

The busiest men in the town were the preachers 
and the physicians. The preachers not only 
preached twice on Sundays, but they held prayer- 
meetings on Wednesday nights and other meetings 
on Friday nights for missions and such. For 
this reason on Wednesday nights no session of 
the Legislature nor any important meetings were 
held even in winter, to say nothing of summer. Of 
course it was permissible to play poker as on any 
other night, for that was a private indulgence and 
not a public disrespect to religion. The doctors 
dosed everybody. The city " enjoyed its proverbial 
good health"; but everybody had some trifling 
ailment, perhaps the result of the physic. Thus 
life ran its circle in Marlborough from ailment 
around to ailment again. 

If you were to go there even now, you would soon 
lose your reckonings. The sense of responsibility 
would slip from you. The days would come and 
go, every one like every other one. You would 
hear the same remarks made at the same time of 
the day that were made there at that time of the 
day in the years of your grandfathers. Your own 
emotions and sensations would become illusive 
and uncertain, and life an intangible continuity 



I SEE GREAT FORCES 123 

of a vacuous monotony. While he lives, a man 
may there study himself, dead touch his own 
corpse and commune with his own suspended in- 
telligence. 

Of all strange places in the world, therefore, 
to find an energetic man, surely old Birdcastle's 
dingy eyrie was the strangest. But that's what 
happened. I went up there one day and the 
library door was open. 

"Well, Mr. Birdcastle, I've caught you at last." 

"It's a bird of another feather," said a pleasant 
voice from near the floor; and there knelt, over a 
pile of old newspapers, a big, hot, ruddy country- 
man. He looked up and said: 

"And you're a ghost. Nobody else would 
come here. How are you ? Let's shake hands 
on this singular experience the only two men 
that ever met here. My name's Bain. " 

"And my name's Worth." 

"I reckon we know one another. Are you 
writing a history of the state, too?" 

"Yes, are you?" 

"I've found out just enough to know that 
nobody knows anything about it. It is the clear- 
est case of arrested development to be found in 
human annals." 

"Strong men came here," he presently rambled 
on. 'They worked; then they bought slaves 
and stopped working; then they wrangled; then 



i2 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

they fought; then they were oppressed; and they 
were on the defensive from the time slavery came. 
They are side-tracked now, and are just about to 
find out that the track they are on leads nowhere. 
Is that good history?" 

There he stood with his coat off, telling a 
century of a people's story in a sentence. 

Thus I first saw Professor William Malcolm 
Bain; and he explained to me as we came down 
the stairs that he was an instructor at the Uni- 
versity and that he had, at his own request, been 
sent to visit the country schools of the State "to 
hold teachers' institutes " for two years. He 
was now holding meetings in this neighbourhood; 
and in the fall he would go back to the University 
and teach there. 

'That's the real service to our country in our 
generation the school-master's," he said. 
"That's my historical conclusion." 

So he ran on. I felt at the end of half an hour 
that I had always known him. When we had 
come down into the capitol yard, he ran away 
from me, a sentence unfinished, to give the squir- 
rels peanuts. 

He had a benignant, round, ruddy face, which 
showed innumerable freckles when he became 
warm, and he looked at you out of very large, 
round eyes. He had a big body and wide square 
shoulders, but he moved with quickness. Yet 



I SEE GREAT FORCES 125 

his infinite good nature and mildness concealed 
his strength, or caused you to think of it as held 
in check; for so gentle was he that he seemed often 
either to be unaware of his power or himself to be 
laughing at it. As he went down the street, 
almost everybody greeted him familiarly. Some 
called him "Professor," others "Professor Billy." 
For everybody knew him. 

His next meeting of teachers was at Millworth. 
My brother, I discovered, knew him and called 
him Professor Billy. The teachers of half the 
county gathered in the school-house, about twenty 
young women and one young man. I asked 
if I might attend. 

"Surely," said he, "and help us." 

He shook hands with them all. He had each 
one fill out a card and thus write down a condensed 
autobiography. He sat down and explained his 
business --to lecture about teaching. 

"But we won't call it that. We'll simply talk 
about how to interest the children." 

"Miss Thomas, what most interests the children 
in your school ? " 

Miss Thomas wasn't sure. She'd have to think. 

"Miss Lloyd, do you ever have the children in 
your school tell you stories ? " 

"No, sir." 

"We'll try that to-morrow. When we meet 
I shall ask one or two of you to tell us stories no 



126 THE SOUTHERNER 

matter what, something you've read, something 
you've seen, anything that you think will interest 
us." A smile of astonishment went around the 
room. 

"You see," and he arose and began to lecture 
"you see anybody can hammer the multiplication 
table and a few rules of grammar into a child's 
head, if you take time enough. That's necessary. 
You all have regular lessons in arithmetic, in 
spelling, in reading, in writing, and in geography. 
I'll conduct a lesson in each of these subjects 
before I go with the children of this school ; and 
then I'll ask some of you to conduct a lesson or two 
after the children have heard you tell stories for 
an hour. For the main thing that I've come to 
tell you is that you must manage first to get all 
the children interested." 

These teachers had come to the "institute" 
to hear formal lectures on "The Theory and the 
Art of Teaching"; and their surprise grew as this 
big, ruddy, jocular fellow alternately sat down and 
stood up, lectured and asked questions. But one 
thing was certain they were interested. By 
the time they might think that at last he was fully 
launched on a formal lecture, he would pull from 
his pocket a copy of "The Vicar of Wakefield," 
and ask one of the teachers to read a page aloud. 

He invited them to ask questions, most of which 
were very formal and very silly. Quite an ani- 



I SEE GREAT FORCES 127 

mated controversy sprang up between two of the 
young women, whether it were better to teach 
spelling orally or by writing out the words. One 
stated her case with earnestness. The other 
stated her case with quite as great earnestness; 
and he asked each of them many questions. When 
there was the greatest eagerness to hear his de- 
cision, he said: 

"Well, now, I'll tell you. Uncle Eben had a 
pig. He sold it to a white man who lived two 
miles down the road. The next day the pig 
came back to Uncle Eben's. Then he sold it 
to another white man who lived two miles up the 
road. While the second white man was on his 
way home with the pig, he met the first white man. 

" 'See here', said the first white man. 'That's 
my pig. I bought it from an old nigger yesterday 
for two dollars.' 

" 'No,' said the other, 'I've just bought it from 
an old nigger for two dollars and a half, and I'm 
taking it home.' 

" After quarreling awhile they agreed to go 
back to Uncle Eben's and call him to account. 

"The old Negro came out of his cabin, and the 
two men angrily confronted him. 

" 'I paid you two dollars for the pig.' 

" 'And I paid you two dollars and a half for the 
same pig.' 

" 'Now, boss,' said Uncle Eben humbly, 'I 



i 2 8 THE SOUTHERNER 

ain' niver yit mixed up in no white folks's quarrels, 
an' I ain' gwine ter mix up in 'em now. I leaves yer 
ter settle yer own diffunces.' 

"Now, I have never yet mixed up in controversies 
between ladies," said Professor Billy, "and I leave 
you to settle your own differences." 

The next morning he was going through the 
mill with my brother, asking questions about 
everything that seemed to work with precision 
every interesting process. In the afternoon he 
was in a cotton-field, talking with a Negro about 
the distance between the cotton plants. At some 
time during his stay of three days he learned that 
Mr. Markham, the carpenter, was an unusually 
skilful man with tools; and he asked him to show 
him how he used a certain plane. 

"Mr. Markham, how could you teach all the 
carpenters in the county to do their work as well 
as you?" 

'They could larn theirselves. " 

"Yes, but they don't. How could you show 
'em?" 

"Dinged if I know," said Mr. Markham. 

The last night of Professor Billy's visit to 
Millworth, he made a speech in the school-house 
to everybody who would go to hear him. He told 
what a country school ought to be, and he asked 
half a dozen persons in the audience, by name, 
how often they went to the school-house. 



I SEE GREAT FORCES 129 

That night he and Charles and I talked long 
about his notions of a school; and as he went on 
I saw the people of a rural commonwealth doing 
their work in ineffective, hereditary ways, half 
starving on a fertile soil, wasting more than they 
garnered, the victims of isolation and stability, 
sprawling in poverty. Teachers, preachers, poli- 
ticians praised them, cajoled them, fed on them, 
and left them as they found them. A thousand 
years of these same influences would leave them 
as they were. There was a lot of formulas that 
were called Education; there was another lot 
of formulas that were called Religion; and there 
was another lot of formulas that were called 
Politics. So, too, there was a lot of formulas 
that were called Cooking, another lot that were 
called Farming, and so on. And nothing changed. 

But here was a man who knew that a change 
could be brought about. He believed in these 
people as no other man I had ever seen believed in 
them; and he thought he saw a way to wake them 
up. The school must teach them to do their 
every-day tasks well instead of ill. The school 
must mean something different to them from what 
it now meant, and it must reach adults as well as 
children. It must teach any man and any woman 
how to do his job better. That was the beginning 
of constructive statesmanship. 

He went away on a train at midnight. As I 



i 3 o THE SOUTHERNER 

walked back home from the station, I thought 
I saw a vision of what might be done in a 
hundred years. 

"He has more life and spring in him," said my 
brother, "than any other man in the State. The 
political bosses regard him as a school-teacher. 
They'll find out at some time that he is constructing 
a revolution. Then something will happen/' 

In a little while the dullness of the monotonous 
summer was broken in Maryborough; for the town 
was getting ready for a great meeting of the Daugh- 
ters of the Confederacy, which was both a patriotic 
and social event out of the common. Preparations 
were made in all the best households to receive the 
visiting ladies. It would be a notable company 
of young women, and the vocabulary of oratory 
and of gallantry must be polished up. The 
Governor, of course, was to make a speech, and 
most of the preachers would have a chance to 
pray at their meetings; and there would, during 
the week, be other oratorical occasions, to say 
nothing of the grand reception at the Governor's 
mansion. 

The day came. After the Governor had made 
his gallant and patriotic address of welcome, 
Colonel Stringweather was introduced amid great 
applause. He had been a hero at the battle of 
Malvern Hill, and there was no patriotic occasion, 



I SEE GREAT FORCES 131 

during these years of which I now write, that 
Colonel Stringweather did not grace. 

He praised the women of the Confederacy in 
resonant periods, and he praised their daughters. 
It is cold and meagre this mere telling about it - 
and unfair to Colonel Stringweather. 

"As God is in heaven," said he in a pious 
ejaculation, "the sun never shone on a sight so 
fair or on an enterprise so worthy as this gathering 
of the beauty and the devotion of the old State, 
and every fold in her blood-stained flag kisses 
the wind of heaven as a benediction on you." 

There were tears on the cheeks of the women; 
and Colonel Stringweather's voice wept, too, as he 
went on, to a climax that likened the meeting to 
heaven and the Daughters to angels. 

The particular purpose of the meeting was to 
decide whether the Daughters should build a 
monument to the women of the Confederacy. 
But the Colonel did not think to mention the busi- 
ness of the day. He was like many men who write 
about "literature" he forgot to mention the 
subject. 

At another meeting Professor Billy made a 
speech. The Daughters had not yet acquired the 
art of speaking themselves, and they seemed con- 
tent to be spoken to. 

Professor Billy, too, had a compliment for them 
and a story. But he remembered their eagerness 



132 THE SOUTHERNER 

to do some service to the commonwealth es- 
pecially for the women. Then he told how many 
illiterate women there were how they were 
rearing illiterate children. "And they cannot be 
taught for lack of teachers." He unfolded a plan 
to build a State school to train teachers and prayed 
them to let that be a monument to the women of 
the Confederacy. 

A few hours later at the hotel Professor Billy 
was telling a story to the company -- Colonel 
Stringweather among the rest about an educated 
pig that he had seen in a circus. The Colonel 
told a story of an educated horse. Presently in 
that company of story-tellers all the domestic 
animals were educated. 

"We'll educate folks after a while don't 
you think so, Colonel?" 

"I was just countin' the schools in this city 
to-day," replied Colonel Stringweather, "and it 
seems to me that every old lady and every second 
young lady has a select school for chillern, and 
I hear of three more that will start in the fall. Then 
there's the Female Seminary and Miss Green's 
School for Young Ladies and three schools for boys, 
the Masonic Orphan Asylum, the college for 
niggers, and the free school to boot. What's 
lackin' in education, Professor ? There's a school 
under the auspices of every church in town." 

"Did you ever notice," Professor Billy asked, 



I SEE GREAT FORCES 133 

"how there is always a school under every * aus- 
pices' except now and then you find a Sunday- 
school picnic or a church fair under one?" 

"I noticed," he went on, "that the best educated 
man in Sylvanus County keeps a thoroughbred 
bull, and has a good road across his land, and he 
has more sheep than dogs. Wouldn't it be a good 
plan to have a Professor of Roads, and a Professor 
of Sheep added to the faculty of the University, to 
travel about, and to teach the people ?" 

The Colonel laughed immoderately at such an 
absurd notion. 

Then, in a more select company at the dinner 
table, the Colonel berated Professor Billy on his 
" infernal educational scheme. " " Don't you know, 
Professor, that we have this meetin' of the Daugh- 
ters here now to warm up the women to the old 
soldiers ? A political campaign's comin' on before 
mighty long, and the ladies must help in their own 
sweet ways, God bless 'em. Give 'em a rest on 
your educational scheme. They don't want to 
think. We want to work up sentiment. " 

Ah! 

There was still another public session of the 
Daughters and the preachers lectured the ladies 
on the Christian Aspects of Patriotism. Patriot- 
ism meant good homes. Good homes meant good 
Christian influences. So spoke the Reverend 
Doctor Babb. And similarly the Reverend Doctor 



i 3 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

Suggs spoke on "The Virtue of the Love of Coun- 
try, a Proper Element of Womanly Character. " 

After these reverend gentlemen sat down, Colonel 
Stringweather ventured to make a few additional 
remarks, in offering a series of resolutions which 
he had been asked to read. 

He declared himself the most steadfast friend, 
throughout his life, of education, as everybody 
knew; and he thanked heaven for the unsurpassed 
educational advantages that our beloved State 
enjoyed. Since this was so, then, he did venture 
to believe, with all respect to learned gentlemen 
who might hold a contrary opinion, that the 
fair Daughters of the Confederacy hardly wished 
to become an eleemosynary institution or to engage 
in the charitable work of helping the free schools. 
That was for others to do. Then he read a 
resolution in favour of an enduring monument in 
brass or marble to the heroic women of the Con- 
federacy. 

Out of the shimmering blank monotony of life 
in Marlborough, there thus began to come into 
clear view the pious force that kept things as they 
were, and the resolute patient force that must at 
last change them. The town did not seem quite 
so dull as it had been. 

And the glow of patriotism became my Cousin 
Margaret well; for she had thrown her whole 



I SEE GREAT FORCES 135 

enthusiasm into the crusade of the Daughters. 
Colonel Stringweather was her hero. "What 
a beautiful oration he made, cousin!" 

"Gallant and pious nonsense," said I; and she 
was ready to cry because of my sacrilege. 

She put her hand on my arm and said sweetly 
(it was a pink gown of lightest texture that she 
wore that day): "Dear cousin, you have lived 
away from us so long that you may forget our 
own people. You won't, will you?" 



CHAPTER XI 

MY CAREER BEGINS 

THE town of Edinboro, having outgrown its 
former limits and its old-time ways, had taken 
on an energetic mood. Its cotton mills, its lumber 
mills and its stores that supplied the country mer- 
chants over a wide area had brought a new spirit of 
commercial activity; and this activity had attracted 
ambitious country youths who were making the 
town grow very fast both by their work and by 
their talk. Many of them wore badges that bore 
a double E, which stood for Energetic Edinboro. 
Especially when they made visits to the neighbour- 
ing towns it was a point of loyalty to wear these 
badges. The Edinboro Torch printed "Energetic 
Edinboro" at the top of its first page, and every 
week the leading editorial was in praise of the town. 
One week its readers found this piece of news 
for their encouragement: 

" AGAIN THE BEST THERE IS 

"The new graded school will be finished next 
week the finest public school-building in the 
State. The finest building next, the finest 

136 



MY CAREER BEGINS 137 

school. That's coming, too. The Board has, 
with customary energy, engaged as superintendent 
Professor Nicholas Worth, a scion of one of our 
old families, and a man who has studied at a 
Northern university, and is thoroughly acquainted 
with all the latest and most progressive methods. 
We welcome the learned Professor. The best is 
none too good for Edinboro." 

This hopeful and interesting career was opened 
for me by the activity of Professor Billy, for 
already he was consulted by everybody who was 
in earnest about school work. 

>( Young Worth is personally all right, I sup- 
pose," said Colonel Stringweather (for Edinboro 
had the distinction of being the home of this 
distinguished citizen); "but" he asked at the 
meeting of the school-board when I was elected, 
"wouldn't it have been as well to get some man 
who was educated in our midst and has no 
new-fangled foreign ideas ? " 

"We want the newest methods, Colonel," a 
commercial member had said. "We want the 
most advanced things." 

"Oh, well, it's only the free school, anyhow," 
said the Colonel. "Every gentleman sends his 
chillern to a private school." 

The people received me pleasantly and I caught 
the energy of their mood. 



138 THE SOUTHERNER 

But the school-houses were, of course, very 
bare; and I sent for some cheap prints for the 
walls portraits of famous men and pictures 
of great sculptures and of historic buildings; and 
I explained them to the children until the teachers 
could repeat my explanations. I bought a little 
flag for every child two flags in fact, one of 
the State and one of the United States. They 
had no sports. I made the yards attractive as 
playgrounds and tried to teach them new games. 
The school soon began to be interesting to them, 
and* the teachers became very engines of enthu- 
siasm. Instead of a long drawn hymn when the 
school-day began, the children sang a patriotic 
song. I took a class in geography a mile or two 
up the river and showed them how the stream 
had worn its way between the banks. Such 
simple devices came as revelations to both children 
and teachers. They thought that I had invented 
all these things. I fitted up a rough workshop 
in the shed. The boys soon made crude tables 
and book-racks and shelves, for the tools were 
new and sharp and it was easy to work with 
them. A teacher gave the girls lessons in sewing. 
Once a week a meeting of all the teachers was 
held and they went over the list of the children and 
explained to each other how everyone was doing. 
And they asked one another, "What do you know 
about the home life of this child ? " 



MY CAREER BEGINS 139 

It soon became impossible for the teachers to 
do this pastoral sort of duty. I, therefore, pro- 
posed to several ladies of the town that they take 
the school records of all the children and visit 
their homes and report what they discovered. 
These became "the Ladies' Public School Club." 
Miss Stringweather, the Colonel's daughter, found 
an outlet in this work for her energy. The club 
took a rough school census of the town. Hardly 
more than half the children of school age were in 
any school at all. Some of them, it is true, 
worked in the mills; but there were many who 
neither worked nor went to school. But within 
a few months, by the activity of the club, the 
public school attendance was almost doubled. I 
did not wait until "commencement" to invite 
the people to visit the school. I went one day 
to a meeting of the Board of Trade and invited 
every member to come the next the day at noon. 
I showed them how the children marched. They 
heard them sing. They saw the boys in the 
workshop. They saw the simple decorations of 
the rooms. 

"Gentlemen," said I, "I want a small engine 
and a lathe or two in the shop. The school 
board has no money that it can spend for such a 
purpose. Can I not depend on energetic Edin- 
boro for these things ? " 

"You bet your life, Professor," said one of the 



140 THE SOUTHERNER 

young merchants; and, to everybody's amaze- 
ment, the money was collected and the workshop 
was fitted up. :< The Professor is a hustler," said 
the Torch the next week. 

There was a public school on the outskirts 
of the town for Negro children. When I first 
visited it, I came away almost hopeless. The 
stupidity of the one teacher and the rag-and-tag 
quality of the pupils and the neglected and forlorn 
appearance of everything were discouraging. 
Either there must be no school or a better school. 
I hardly knew how to begin. It I should recom- 
mend the dismissal of this teacher, where could 1 
get a better one ? 

There was in Malborough a college for Negroes 
that was maintained by the mission society of 
one of the Northern churches; but I knew as 
little about it as any other white man in the 
capital. But the next time I went home I went 
to see it, hoping to find a capable Negro teacher. 
The Principal of the Institute, as it was called, 
was the Reverend Doctor Snodder. He had a 
meek, hang-dog manner, as if to say; "I am 
called to be a teacher of the oppressed." He 
regarded himself as a martyr and in martyrdom 
he found such joy as he got out of a solemn, 
poor life. He had been, I afterward found out, 
an unsuccessful preacher at home, and he was 
permitted to "take up work in the South." He 



MY CAREER BEGINS 141 

spent half his time at the school and half in New 
England, telling his story of his difficulties, 
which were real enough, and collecting money to 
carry his work on. 

A vigorous man could long ago have made 
himself known and liked in the community. But 
he generally kept within the bounds of the school 
property, and, since nobody asked him to go 
anywhere, he was seldom seen by the towns- 
people. He cut himself off still more because of 
the encouragement that his wife gave him to 
martyrdom. She was a vigorous and ambitious 
woman; but, when she first came to her field of 
work, she had no opportunity to make even the 
slightest acquaintance with any of the ladies of 
the town. Then she withdrew within herself 
and became bitter. A few of the white women 
of the country on the neglected side of the city 
beyond the school, who brought garden products 
to Mrs. Snodder, became the typical white women 
of the State in the stories that she told her friends 
at home except of course the few "proud, 
fine ladies of the city," about whom she had an 
exaggerated and wholly erroneous notion. 

The Snodders were neglected and tactless 
foreigners in a strange land; and they grovelled 
in martyrdom and made it their chief stock in 
trade both in misshaping the temper of the students 
and in keeping up the subscriptions from the North. 



i 4 2 THE SOUTHERNER 

I once asked Uncle Ephraim what he knew about 
the Institute, for the Negroes have underground 
channels of information that white men lack. 

" Don' set no sto' by it, Mars' Littlenick. Dey 
has dere, 'cordin' to what I hears, de stuck-up 
young niggers what 'brudder yer dis' and 'brudder 
yer dat' - preacher niggers what ain't got no 
ol'-fashion' 'ligion. Dey don' think much on 
'em 'bout here." 

I shared Uncle Ephraim's opinion after I had 
made a visit to the Institute. The courses of 
study led chiefly to the classics and to theology. 
Snodder himself taught "Christian Ethics." 

I told him my errand, but I did not find such 
a teacher as I wanted for the little black 
ragamuffins of energetic Edinboro. 

But the next summer I went to Hampton, 
Virginia, where I had heard of a school for coloured 
people that had been worked out by a man of 
genius for such a task. Professor Billy went 
with me. I recall that we thought it prudent 
not to permit the newspapers to know where we 
were going. 

After a day there, we spent the night talking 
over what we had seen. "Not a white woman 
in our State can get such instruction as these 
Negroes have"; and he sat long in thought, 
looking out the window on Hampton Roads. 
Presently he roused himself. 



MY CAREER BEGINS 143 

' There was a great naval battle fought out 
there wasn't there ? And it changed the whole 
business of fighting on water for all time to come. 
Our people fought well. Isn't fighting pretty 
hard work, Worth don't you suppose ? Why, 
then, don't the same people who fought so hard 
work hard also ? I know a widow of one of the 
heroes of the Confederate Ironclad. She is as help- 
less as a child. She can do nothing. She ' presides ' 
over a little school for girls, and somebody else 
has to do her work. The other people, in fact, 
treat her as a guest and wait upon her." 

The next morning was Sunday and we heard 
five hundred voices at Hampton Institute sing 
Negro melodies as we had never heard them 
sung before. 

"I wish Uncle Ephraim could hear these," I 
said; and Professor Billy remarked that no 
white congregation sang so well. 

I engaged a teacher to go to Edinboro, and 
his name was John Marshall. 

In a little while " Professor" Marshall had 
the children come to school in whole garments and 
with clean bodies. He taught them to march, to 
sing, to sew, to make things with jackknives; 
they painted the school house; they mended the 
benches; they kept the floor clean and the yard, 
too. And the attendance at the Negro school 
increased beyond the capacity of the house, so 



i 4 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

that he taught one school-roomful of children 
in the forenoon and another roomful in the 
afternoon. He taught on Saturdays also. 

The fame of the Edinboro public schools was 
spread by the energetic men of the town. Mar- 
garet wrote: "I think, dear cousin, you are 
doing the noblest work in the world teaching 
the children of the poor and making their schools 
attractive. It's as good as being a missionary." 

But Captain Bob Logan said: " You're going 
too fast, Worth." "Cap'n Bob," as almost 
everybody in the town called him, was the town 
wag and philosopher. He was a politician 
he chose to call himself a lawyer, but he gave 
slight attention to his profession, and spent his 
time in reading and talking. He was supposed 
to have inherited a small fortune from a distant 
kinsman. At any rate, he frequently went North 
and that meant at least money enough to travel. 
He was a friend of the President of the United 
States, and he made visits to Washington, as 
became a Southern Republican boss of that 
time. His friends accused him of accepting 
Republicanism for professional reasons. Indeed, 
few persons gave this interesting and eccentric 
man credit for sincerity in anything, for nothing 
was sacred from his wit. Yet he was much 
liked by his neighbours " personally, not 
politically." 



MY CAREER BEGINS 145 

"You're going too fast, Worth. The town 
can't stand the gait. Some young fellows here 
encourage you to think that we are really an 
energetic people. Don't you make the mistake 
to think so. It's a passing mood. We're born 
under a long sun. Your ladies' school com- 
mittees will get tired. Your little niggers will go 
back to their rags. Go slow." 

Strangely enough the first protest came from 
the Negroes. Professor Marshall had taught 
the children to plant cotton in the proper way, and 
this agricultural knowledge gave offence. One 
day a committee of Negro men and women came 
to see me. 

"Yes, suh," said the preacher, who was the 
spokesman, "we don' lak to make no complaint; 
but he's wastin' o' de chillern's time, larnin' 'em 
to plant cotton, when dey oughter be larnin' outen 
a book. Ev'y collurd pusson, sartainly in dis 
country, know how to plant a cotton seed. Do'n 
know whar he been ef he don'. Jes' wastin' 
de chillern's time dat, too, when dere so meny 
on 'em dey can't git in de school-house 'ceptin' half 
de time. We lays dese 'monstrances 'fore you." 

I took the "monstrances" seriously, and I 
had Professor Marshall get lantern slides of good 
cotton and of poor cotton, of the proper way to 
plant it and of the wrong way, and of the difference 
in yield. He invited the parents of all the Negro 



146 THE SOUTHERNER 

children to come to the school-house on a certain 
night, and he delivered an illustrated lecture on 
planting cotton. I also made them a speech. 

"What do you want your boys to do to 
hang around town and carry satchels and shine 
shoes and to become loafers ? Or do you want 
them to become independent men, to own farms, 
to grow cotton and to grow it right ? " The tide 
of Negro opinion was thus easily turned. It is a 
docile race. 

But this incident set another tide flowing. 
Colonel Stringweather was heard to remark that 
"Young Worth and his smart school nigger 
will turn the heads of all the nigger boys in town, 
holdin' meetin's and forbiddin' 'em to carry a 
white man's satchel or to shine a white man's 
shoes, or to hoi' a white man's horse, or to wait 
on white folks. I don't know 'bout havin' a 
nigger school 't all if such infernal doctrine as 
this is set up." 

The Colonel even remarked to me one day, 
in a condescending tone, "Young Worth, don't 
go too far with your little niggen Nigger 
education is a ticklish bus'ness. You know your 
job and I don't; and you mean the right thing, 
I am sure. But, remember, this is a ticklish 
bus'ness. The nigger mus' keep his place in 
our civilerzation." 

I found that the text-books of history used in 



MY CAREER BEGINS 147 

the school contained practically nothing about 
the history of the State. I compiled a simple 
narrative and had it printed, as a pamphlet, at 
the Torch office. That paper, therefore, spoke 
in the most flattering adjectives about the little 
book and its author. The book contained only 
a few pages about the Civil War but it declared 
that there was such dissatisfaction with Jefferson 
Davis's conduct of the war that two States 
threatened to secede from the Confederacy a 
plain historical fact. When Captain Bob Logan 
had read it, he came to see me. 

"Why, man, there are some things you can't 
say. All history is a perversion or a suppression 
of some facts generally of the main facts; 
and the only history of themselves that these 
people will accept must conform to their pet 
perversions and suppressions. Nobody may 
happen to notice this sentence, for nobody but 
the children will read the book or any book. 
But, if he hears of it, old Stringweather will 
snort and raise hell. 

"I say, by the way, I told the ladies some time 
ago that they'd better put up in the school-house 
portraits of Jeff Davis, of General Lee and 
Stonewall Jackson and Edgar Allen Poe and 
William Gilmore Simms, if you can get them. The 
Apollos and the Madonnas and the Tennysons 
and the rest that the cheap-print fellow had in 



148 THE SOUTHERNER 

his catalogue are all right; but, when you put 
up pictures of great men or angels or of spirits 
or of what not, don't you forget the patron saints 
of the region where you live. Are these pictures 
on the walls yet ? 

'You're brewing a storm, Worth, and I don't 
believe you know it. Old Nixon, who goes 
about in his ancient plug hat and faded gloves 
reciting lines from Vergil to himself - - he'll have 
no boys to teach at his academy if you make 
the public schools much better. Nothing but 
a life-insurance agency will await him. He's 
beginning to see this, and he's capable of raising a 
perfect tornado. The mill men are complaining, 
too, that they can't get children enough for the 
mills. 

"Where do you live that you don't hear all 
these things ? We are born and baptised and 
grow up and live and eat and think and vote 
and swear and drink and go to hell all by 
formulas. You've got to keep to the right 
formula." 

I laughed, but I saw that portraits of General 
Lee and General Stonewall Jackson and the rest 
were put up. They had been omitted only 
because they were not in the catalogue of cheap 
prints by which the other portraits had been 
bought, and it took some trouble to find them. 

I compiled, too, a primer of "Our Industries," 



MY CAREER BEGINS 149 

in which agriculture and lumber-cutting and 
furniture-making and cotton-spinning and such 
things were explained; and the Torch (at whose 
office it was printed) praised this also. It was 
given to the children, free; and I observed that 
nearly twice as many copies were asked for by the 
Negroes as by the whites. 

Thus, in spite of Captain Bob Logan's rhetorical 
fears for me (the Captain's business was to have 
fears), my work went well; and Professor Billy's 
philosophy was sound: the school-master a 
new sort of school-master must lay the founda- 
tions of a new sort of patriotism, must even 
prepare the way for a new view of life. Now 
an important part of this new school-master's 
task is to have the people, the young people in 
particular, rightly to understand our own history. 
They must get away from thoughts of war. They 
must go further backward. They must know 
the forgotten story of their grandfathers and of 
their great-grandfathers, who were men that 
worked. I must, therefore, expand my successful 
primers into a history of our own people, in dead 
earnest; and I spent such time as I could spare 
from my school work in getting my materials. I 
had by this time found out that I knew nothing 
about the history of the State, and that nobody 
else knew more than I knew. Traditions had 
long been accepted as facts. Society " before the 



1 50 THE SOUTHERNER 

war" was thought, even by men whose lives ran 
back into that period, to be very different from 
what it really was. A few phrases about "cav- 
aliers" and "great planters" had made a picture 
in the popular mind that, so far as our State 
was concerned, was wholly untrue. The prev- 
alent notion of the Civil War, fostered by the 
Veterans and the Daughters, was erroneous. 
The real character even of General Lee was 
misunderstood. His name was worshipped, but 
his real opinions were unknown and had been 
curiously distorted. It was as if the past, except 
the war-period, had been eclipsed. The people 
did not know their own story. 

And now there came a week that I meant to 
give wholly to writing and I determined to make 
a journey to the Old Place and work without 
interruption. Besides I could stop in Marlborough 
and see Margaret. 



CHAPTER XII 

MY "WITHDRAWAL FROM THE CAPITAL" 

THE Old Place had ceased to be a place of inter- 
est to most of the family. Uncle Ephraim 
and his wife, Aunt Martha, lived in the old "big" 
house, now sadly gone to decay, and they kept the 
new part of the house for the white folks if they 
should ever come to use it. With them lived a 
very light mulatto girl, Lissa, who was a sort of 
adopted daughter of Aunt Martha, and whose 
baby Aunt Martha was helping to rear. The 
other Negroes on the place lived as they had lived 
in my grandfather's life-time in the cabins. 
Uncle Ephraim, old as he was, had shown a mas- 
terful spirit. The place had lost a white master 
but it had gained a black one. The Negroes 
worked parts of the old plantation "on shares," 
and they found Ephraim a hard task-master. The 
old man was thrifty they called him stingy. The 
neighbourhood decayed. It seemed as if my grand- 
father had been the only prop to its falling value 
for years. 

Aunt Martha met me at the gate. 

"Where's Uncle Ephraim?" 



152 THE SOUTHERNER 

" De oF man done tuck ter his bed ag'in 
mighty poo'ly sense de fros' fetch de rheumatiz." 

"You're not here alone with him?" 

"Yes, Mars' Littlenick; but he don' want 
much. Nur he ain' gwine ter want dat long. 
He done see speerits, and he's gettin' ready fer 
ter go so I 'specs." 

I sent for Dr. Benson, who found nothing to 
warrant Aunt Martha's fears. The old man 
had indigestion, but he seemed sound yet. I 
sent then for the best of the young coloured 
physicians in town, to come and stay with him 
until he should get up again. Uncle Ephraim 
had never before seen a Negro physician. 

"See here. I don' wan' no nigger a-doctorin' 
o' me. I'se good enough to have white doctors 
when I'se sick. I'se allers had 'em, same as 
ol' Marster had afore me. I wishes to speak to 
Mars' Littlenick 'bout dis nigger doctorin' o' me." 

"He's a trained nurse, Uncle Ephraim," I 
explained. "He's been taught by white doctors. 
He knows just when you need the medicine that 
Dr. Benson left for you. He'll do the right 
thing. Let him stay in here with you. I sent 
for him." 

"A kin' o' owl nigger what don' need no sleep ? 
Ef you says it's all right, Mars' Littlenick, den 
it's all right/' 

Old Ephraim was old Ephraim still. So I 



MY "WITHDRAWAL" 153 

went across the porch to the "new house" and 
sat by the fire to work at my task. 

But the thing happened that always happens 
when an awkward craftsman who ought to ply 
a humbler trade makes elaborate preparations 
to write. I filled one sheet and tore it up. I 
filled another with the dullest stuff that ever 
soiled good paper. I moved the writing table 
to the other side of the fire-place. Presently 
I moved it back again. Then I found the secret 
of my bad start, for I had tried to begin the 
most difficult chapter of all. How foolish! I 
began an easier chapter, and I filled two sheets. 
The fire had now burned low and I stopped to 
rebuild it. I saw the moonlight between the 
cedars out the window. Perhaps if I walked I 
should then write more easily. I ran over what 
I had written dull nonsense! My mind would 
fix itself on anything but on this task. 

I went around the house. "I'll see how the 
old man is," I said to myself, and I entered the 
side door to the "old house." There was a noise 
of voices in Uncle Ephraim's room. He sat 
erect in the bed. Aunt Martha was kneeling at 
the foot hysterical in prayer. Dr. Dixon was 
trying to soothe the patient. 

"I know's he was dar. I seed him and he 
says, 'Dar my ol' Ephum, done come, too.' 
And I says, ' How dy' ol' Marster ? ' 



154 THE SOUTHERNER 

"Dar he is now see him dar! Yes, ol' 
Marster. What is yer want ter say to Ephum ? 

" He lif his han' and look lak to gwine ter 
say som'in.' Yes, oV Marster, I'se here, suh 

"Dar Mars' Littlenick, too. Mars' Little- 
nick, what did ol' Marster say? And whar he 
gone to? I seed him standin' dar and I didn't 
ketch de words when he HP his han'. Whar 
he gone, Mars' Littlenick ? And what he say ? " 

Then he fell back exhausted in his delirium. 

"Ol' Marster com' back to him," said Aunt 
Martha. "Dat's a sho' sign he call him ter 
de odder sho'." But Dr. Dixon assured us that 
his delirium was not so bad an omen; and, since 
he slept soundly in a little while, I went back 
to my History. 

I built up the log fire again in my room 
"And my marriage would bind me still more 
firmly to the State, to its traditions, to its con- 
servative character," I found myself saying to 
myself. "A married man, I suppose, must have 
patience." And I smiled. Was marriage a 
necessary preliminary to a writing mood ? I 
thought of myself in a quiet house in Edin- 
boro, perhaps in Marlborough; should I have 
to give up my school work ? Oh, no. Still she'd 
prefer to live in the capital where she had always 
lived. She had developed a sort of mastery of 
her own world. It was good for her activity 



MY "WITHDRAWAL" 155 

and effectiveness added to her soft beauty. And 
beautiful she surely was. 

I should then surely finish my History of the 
State. A man must ripen toward the writing 
of a great book. He can't do such a task offhand. 
Why try to hurry the processes of Nature or 
of historical composition ? 

Before going to bed I wandered into the garden. 
I stood a moment by the grave of my grandfather. 
The cool moonlight fell softly on the earth, and 
a gust of wind rustled through the branches of 
the cedars. Yes, he lived his life, and I must 
live mine. We fulfil our destiny by falling into 
the endless line that Nature devises. If Mar- 
garet had really known the old man as I had 
known him, she would the better understand 
me now. Did she really understand ? Well, 
she loved me she would love me. Was that 
not woman's whole duty or the greater part 
of it? Was not that the old man's own phil- 
osophy ? The soft and tender home-maker that 
was his ideal for a woman, not a political organizer. 
Loyalty to her husband was a woman's first duty. 

By that measurement was not Aunt Martha 
a model of womanhood? ;< These be very deep, 
if very rambling thoughts," said I. "But, 
seriously, how well does she know me? the 
man I am now become ? That's my sweet 
privilege to find out. I'll see. I'll see to-morrow." 



156 THE SOUTHERNER 

After all, could I do better than to balance my 
judgment by the old man's standard ? Here I 
belong. I am a part of Nature here. She is, 
too. We spring from the same influences. Dear, 
dear cousin, I come back back to the 
fundamentals of life back to you. 

What kind of woman was my grandmother ? 
I mused. Really, I never knew her. And 
grandfather seldom spoke of her. She had a 
vigorous wooing, if Ephraim can be believed. 
But after that ? The Old Man in the days when 
I came close to him, gave all his thought to the 
State. " Serve your country," said he, over and 
over again. And, " Widen your horizon," he 
always advised. 

As I went to bed, I threw away all thought 
of writing more. To-morrow I would go to 
Marlborough. 

I rode into town, on that resolute day, which 
I now easily recall, saying that, after all, it was 
best to fix my life to the life about me, to adopt 
its traditions, to identify myself with the past, 
the conservative, the organized. Otherwise I 
was likely to be wholly misunderstood, to drift 
or to be driven away from the real moorings of 
my life. I surely was not an enemy of my own 
people. 

As I rode through the crisp air, my purpose 
became stronger became a sweet eagerness. 



MY " WITHDRAWAL" 157 

She was beautiful. She was restful. She was 
"our people." She would bring me content, and 
I shall settle down in line with life about me. 

At the hotel, which was the gathering place of 
all important loafers, there was an unusual 
company of colonels and majors and captains. I 
had forgotten that there was a great meeting of 
the Confederate Veterans coming on. 

"Here's Professor Worth," said one of them. 
"Worth, you are just in time. You know there's 
to be a volcanic occasion in this town. We all 
bury our hatchets all become good Indians 
and George Washingtons to boot, and help 
the ladies out with their old soldier racket. God 
bless the old soldiers I'm one myself, so that 
I can talk as I please. And with all respect 
to all concerned a bigger humbug never was 
hatched than these meetin's. Now, the real 
old soldier -- he's all right. But the men who 
do most of this big-meetin' business are the 
women God bless 'em. An' it costs money 
to feed a lot of ol' fellows that the railroads bring 
for nothin'. It's worse than war." 

"Hold on, Colonel," said another, "don't be 
hard on us, who really were soldiers." 

"I'm talking for private consumption. Just 
as long as there's an election to be won, I'm for 
the tattered veteran, to the last man. If one 
party did not have the ol' Confed', and if the 



158 THE SOUTHERNER 

other didn't have the nigger, dinged if I know 
what we'd do we who have to save the country. 
What shall it be, Major rock and rye ? or 
rye, and trust the rockin' and the rollin' to 
Providence ? " 

"Let Worth deliver an oration on Jeff Davis. 
He's a scholar and an orator. Worth, we are 
veterans and we've all spoke out said our 
little pieces; and we ought, for decency's sake, to 
keep our oratorical mouths shut." 

"Jeff Davis it's him that the ladies God 
bless 'em are now praisin' to the skies. 
Durned queer to me; for I'm old enough to 
remember what a failure old Jeff made of it; and 
he didn't get credit then even for what he 
deserved. Why on earth they have taken up old 
Jeff, I can't tell. My wife thinks that he was 
as great a man as Lee; and I couldn't convince 
her if I tried a month." 

"Colonel," said another major, "this has 
puzzled me, too. You will recall that during the 
last days of the Confederacy, there was a well- 
matured plan to depose old Jeff, and to make 
General Lee dictator. It failed only because the 
patriots or conspirators (as you choose to call 
'em) knew, when they came to the point, that 
General Lee would never accept such a proposal. 

"Why, North Carolina and Georgia were at 
one time about to secede from the Confederacy. 



MY "WITHDRAWAL" 159 

Both Governor Vance and Governor Brown 
reached a point beyond which they would not 
endure President Davis's methods." 

About the Confederacy and the war I cared 
not a rap. They were brave men who fought 
in it I was willing to honour them for their 
bravery. That was easy. But that was not 
all. If I should address such an audience on 
such an occasion that would mean my identifi- 
cation with all that stood in the way of the 
people's rise. The line of cleavage ran there 
precisely there. The line between honesty 'and 
humbug ran there. No, I could not disguise 
that fact. 

I made my escape and passed, in the best way 
I could, the few hours before I should go in the 
afternoon to see Margaret. But the thought 
would recur to me "to fall in line with the life 
about me," does it mean falling in line with these 
colonels and their activities ? 

Professor Billy was in town. Wherever two 
or three were gathered together, he was there. He 
came to my room, ruddy and jolly. But, after 
a jocular greeting, he sat down and said half 
seriously: 

"Worth, you ought to save your pretty kins- 
woman, Miss Benson, from all this veteran 
flubdub. Maybe you are doing that very thing, 
you rogue. This Veterans' and Daughters' 



160 THE SOUTHERNER 

craze has struck the land hard. It was a pretty 
idea, a very pretty idea, at first. And I suppose, 
we mustn't take it too seriously now; for the 
young women of society must have something to 
engage their time. But the colonels have cap- 
tured them all, your cousin among them; and 
the old fellows are using these young ladies as 
their strongest and 'perhaps their last defence. 
Their old breast-works have been battered pretty 
badly. They may lose leadership and have at 
last to confess that they were whipped in war 
and that other men ought now to lead. They 
have used the churches, and this fortification 
is yet strong, but there are gaps in it. One 
church hates another, and they sometimes forget 
the common enemy. But, with the women organ- 
ized to praise them, these wonderful military 
relics may still longer suppress free thought 
and free action. It is the shrewdest move that 
they have made. I am often impressed with 
their ability in their decrepitude. 

'You remember how the old cock scratched 
and clucked when he thought Uncle Reuben 
might be coming to catch him, and his cluck 
brought all the hens about him; and they made 
so much noise that Uncle Reuben admired him 
and was discouraged." 

It was strange how on that day, in spite of my 
own determined silence, everybody spoke to me 



MY "WITHDRAWAL" 161 

about Margaret. When I picked up the after- 
noon paper, I saw portraits of Jefferson Davis, 
of the best-known generals, of the war governor, 
decorated with the stars and bars; and below 
these were portraits of the officers of the Capitol 
Chapter of the "Fair Daughters of the Con- 
federacy," Margaret's in the centre of them 
all. Not one of these fair daughters was out 
of her cradle and most of them had not been 
born when the Confederacy was launched. But 
"chivalry," "beauty," "heroism," "the sacred 
dead," "loyalty to the Southland" were the 
A-B-C of the fulsome vocabulary of this after- 
noon newspaper. The feeling crept over me 
that Margaret was become a sort of public 
personage and must be saved from this shame. I 
wondered how good Dr. Benson and my aunt 
felt about this. I mused on this as I walked to 
the Benson house. I'd soon find out. I'd soon 
find out more than that! 

I heard a buzzing voice inside, and the maid 
whispered to me as she came forward: 

"De Col'nel makin' a speech to de ladies"; 
and she pointed to the big reception room. "Will 
you go in ? " 

I recognized the voice of Colonel String- 
weather. He was narrating to a gathering of 
young women his own experience in "the heroic 
withdrawal" of the President (Davis) after the 



162 THE SOUTHERNER 

fall of Richmond. I heard that phrase - 
"heroic withdrawal after the fall of the capital"; 
and here was a roomful of young women, eagerly 
listening to this interpretation of history as one 
of the very heroes of it unfolded it. 

"No," I said. "Tell Miss Margaret that 
I will call after supper." 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE RELICS AT ST. PETER'S 

THERE were in Marlborough two noble 
monuments of the early days of the Com- 
monwealth, of the days when men built insti- 
tutions and houses with dignity. One was the 
granite capitol, its floors deeply worn, its rooms 
without conveniences, and the whole building 
far too small even for the small business that 
was done there. The place had, from my child- 
hood, stirred my patriotic emotions. I think I 
never walked through its cool halls they were 
thoroughfares east and west and north and south 
and were as much used by pedestrians as any 
street in the town without taking off my 
hat. And this was the custom of many men, 
especially of men of that old generation of fine 
manners who always bowed to a stranger in the 
street. 

The other memorial of the time of the builders 
was St. Peter's. Its stone walls were like the 
walls of a fortress. Its great doors hung on wrought 
hinges. Its beams were held together by wrought 
bolts and wrought nails held its well-worn floor. 

163 



164 THE SOUTHERNER 

Its silver service was a present from a colonial 
governor. It was the most venerated building 
in the region, and most others seemed commonplace 
or frivolous by comparison. And it had served 
the highest social as well as religious uses for two 
hundred years. Patriotism clung to its history as 
the ivy to its walls. The boards in the floor 
were deeply worn by innumerable feet of wor- 
shippers and of those that had been wedded and 
of those that had brought children to be christened 
or the dead to be buried. 

There was one pillar that was historic. A 
musket ball had imbedded itself in it, after coming 
through the mantle of the Virgin in the window - 
a musket ball that had been shot by the enemy 
during the little skirmish that the retreating 
Confederates had with the advancing Yankees. 
It was thought to be typical of their vandalism 
that the ball should hit the mantle of the Virgin; 
and the round hole was so patched as forever 
to show the sacredness of the Lost Cause and 
the sacrilegious nature of the invaders. The 
bullet had been taken from the pillar and was 
preserved in a little walnut box that hung under 
the window, to show to visitors. Rolled in a 
case and hanging under the bullet-box, was a 
Confederate flag, which had been thrown over 
the coffin of the rector who died in wartime as 
chaplain of a Marlborough regiment. The pew 



THE RELICS AT ST. PETER'S 165 

was marked in which General Washington and 
General Lafayette and General Andrew Jackson 
and Henry Clay and Jefferson Davis had sat. 

The best social life of the town was yet, as 
it had always been, sustained by the women 
who worshipped at St. Peter's. The Baptists 
and the Methodists had each built a costlier house 
of worship. They were more numerous, too. 
Their churches had even, each in its own circle, 
aspired to be regarded as the home of the fashion 
of the city. But in its historical consciousness 
and most ancient respectability, St. Peter's yet 
had social as well as historical preeminence. 
Especially was it identified with the Confederate 
leaders. There worshipped old Colonel Gaunt 
every Sunday that his crutches could carry him 
so far the historian of the State's troops in 
the war. There worshipped the old State 
treasurer, whose father had been treasurer in 
the old time before the carpet-bag regime. 
There worshipped now most of the devoted 
widows and fatherless daughters of the brave 
men of the city who fell on Virginian battlefields. 

The Bensons, of course, worshipped at St. 
Peter's. The good doctor was a vestryman, my 
aunt one of the most pious of women in her 
quiet attention to her religious duties, and my 
cousin Margaret had become a leader in church 
activities. 



166 THE SOUTHERNER 

After an early supper at the hotel, I walked 
through the capitol it fitted my mood (for I 
was bent on an absorbing errand and consequently 
my thoughts wandered) east and west and 
then north and south. As I sauntered, I read 
on one door in faded gilt letters, "The Governor." 
The man who now sat there had done most 
valiant service in praising the Veterans had 
outdone all his competitors and got his reward. 
On another door was "State Treasurer." There, 
I reflected, since the Legislature was not in 
session, I might, perhaps, if the Treasurer were in, 
find old Birdcastle's key to the library. 

I have been told that, as a man marches into 
battle for the first time, his mind runs over his 
whole life and lights on this unimportant remem- 
brance or on that, and will not stay by the deadly 
matter before him. So, too, when a man goes 
to make love with deliberate intention. I would 
not go straight to Dr. Benson's. Far from the 
State House I walked, led by some impulse of 
hesitancy (perhaps of trepidation) down the 
street that led by old Judge Bartholomew's. 
Might I not step in a moment and pay my respects ? 
But when I reached the gate I smiled at my 
cowardly mood and passed, although I saw 
the old man with a shawl over his shoulders 
walking in the garden in the cool of the early 
evening. 



THE RELICS AT ST. PETER'S 167 

But I did stop a moment at St. Peter's. The 
door was open, for men had been at work making 
repairs and they were now gathering up their 
tools. I walked half-way down the aisle. We 
should, of course, be married here. 

Then my thought did come to the business 
before me. Yes, I had thrown away hesitancy. 
But should I find that Margaret had ? I wondered 
if she really loved me. Had we not always 
loved one another ? We had not formally said 
so. Perhaps I was to blame for so long a delay. 
Had I possibly caused her suffering ? Or perhaps 
perhaps she had ceased to care. More 
likely she, too, had been waiting for my road 
to become straight. And now I had a career 
before me. Why did I not hurry on ? 

At last I was at the door. But it was yet so 
early I would not go in they were still at 
supper, I saw through the window. Yes, I had 
taken supper very early surely, and they doubtless 
were late because of the meeting there in the 
afternoon. 

I walked by and wandered farther than I 
had meant to go out by the grounds of the 
Young Ladies' Seminary where she had been 
educated. They did teach young women pretty 
manners at least. But what else ? I wondered. 
What had Margaret studied ? What had she read ? 
I had not thought of that before. 



168 THE SOUTHERNER 

But it was getting late later than I meant 
it should be when I called. I hurried back. I 
had been walking almost an hour. 

I heard the fire bell ring wasn't it the fire 
bell ? And I hurried. A crowd was following the 
slow little fire-engine that started from this end 
of the town, and the word came back that St. 
Peter's was burning. How St. Peter's could 
burn was a mystery. Its stone walls could with- 
stand a siege with cannon. But, by the time 
I came near the church, the cry was that the 
roof was afire and would surely fall in. The 
crowd in front suddenly divided itself, and some- 
one was coming bearing the body of another. 

It was Dr. Benson. Good man, he was always 
prompt wherever he could relieve suffering. Why 
did they permit him to carry the woman alone ? 
Why did not some one help ? I bounded forward. 

"Let me help you, Doctor." 

"Margaret," he called, as he looked down 
on the form in his arms. 

"Is it Margaret?" 

Together we bore the limp form through the 
way promptly made by the crowd, and before 
another word was spoken in a few minutes - 
we were in his house. 

We bore her to the big lounge in his office, 
and he began to examine her, Aunt Katharine 
helping on the other side of the lounge. Mar- 



THE RELICS AT ST. PETER'S 169 

garet presently opened her eyes, and the doctor's 
efforts to revive her began to be successful. 

"Did I save them?" 

She had held in her hand the little box that 
contained the bullet, but the case with the flag 
she had evidently dropped. She had risked her 
life by running through a suffocating smoke 
to make sure that these sacred things should be 
saved. 

After a while the doctor declared her free 
from danger he thought "No worse harm 
than a severe shock." 

The good doctor never chided anybody, and I 
noticed that even Aunt Katharine did not express 
surprise that Margaret had made so dangerous 
and (as I thought) foolhardy an effort. 

Many a man, as you may have been told, has 
made love to a woman because of the curve of 
her cheek or of the shape of a curl on her temple 
or of the movement of her chin when she smiled. 
Nature tricks us with little things. So, too, I 
suppose, many a man before me had suffered 
postponements because of incidents or accidents 
quite as little as these; for, beyond a certain 
distance, which we fancy we travel by our own 
will, any little wind or wave may beat us back 
or carry us on or drive us to one side and delay 
our journey, light sailors as we are on this 
capricious sea where we have our brief adventures. 



CHAPTER XIV 

ON THE ALTAR OF A COLONEL 

IF THE reader be weary of my interrupted woo- 
ing, I shall not pretend to any sympathy with 
him, for was I not even more weary ? 

Margaret was commanded to keep her room for 
a few days at least, to make sure of her recovery 
from the shock, and I was not in a mood to hear 
the great speeches of the congregated colonels. 
Therefore I went to Millworth also to recover. 

Barbara was loquacious and excited beyond 
her quiet wont. 

"I'll tell him myself," she said almost as soon 
as she greeted me, seating herself between mother 
and me. " Mother was going to write to you 
to-day and so was I." 

"About the burning of St. Peter's and 
Margaret ? " I asked. 

"Heavens! Is Margaret burned up?" 

"No, no, but you had heard that St. Peter's 
was burned last night ? " 

"And what happened to Margaret?" 

"She was shocked and choked with smoke. 
You hadn't heard ? She foolishly ran into the 

170 



ON THE ALTAR OF A COLONEL 171 

burning building for the old Confederate flag 
and fainted there. She will be all right in a little 
while." 

"No," Barbara ran on, "it wasn't that." 

"Cooley's coming?" 

"No mother was going to write you, Brother 
Nick, that I'm en engaged. Weren't you, mother ? 
To Tom Warren. You knew it was going to 
happen, didn't you?" 

And she kissed me and ran out of the room. 

Knew it would happen ? I had never thought 
of such a thing. 

"Too young, mother; too young," I said. 

She had crept back into the room in time to 
hear me. 

"Too young!" she cried out at me; and, 
curtseying low to mother, she asked, "And how 
old were you, madam, when you were married ? 
A whole year younger than I am! Too young! 
(To me.) You old, old thing you, yourself!" 

The day was almost gone before I had a chance 
to talk with mother seriously about it. 

"And what do you think, Nicholas ? " 

I did not answer directly because I did not 
know what I thought. Tom Warren was well 
born a gentleman. He was fast succeeding 
to his father's law practice. He was well 
thought-of, and an honourable and reasonably 
prosperous career seemed to await him. And 



172 THE SOUTHERNER 

he was an attractive fellow, with dash and some 
audacity. But he had seemed to me likely never to 
see beyond the county line. He was content 
with things as they were content with anything 
that was. He did not lack courage except the 
courage of a new idea. He would perpetuate 
the old order of things because it was some trouble 
to bring a new order; and he did not like to 
take trouble of this sort. For my part, I could 
like him more easily than I could respect him. 
He would never stand for what I most prized. 

I told this to my brother more plainly than I 
could express it to my mother. 

"Yes," said he, "but, Nick, very few men 
ever have a new idea. And those that carry 
such a thing find it troublesome baggage. If 
he's square, had we not better be content ? " 

My own wooing ardour was somewhat cooled 
for a time shall I confess it ? by this most 
serious consideration of another couple and the 
possible hazard of the matter. If Tom Warren 
would be slow to catch a new idea of life, would 
Margaret be quick ? 

But I felt two days later that I ought to return 
to Marlborough and get news of her. Moreover, 
I had promised Professor Billy to go over with 
him his plan of campaign for a practical school 
for girls which the State must establish. 

I found him busy among the Veterans. They 



ON THE ALTAR OF A COLONEL 173 

were encouraging the young women everywhere 
to organize Chapters of the Daughters, and 
the aim that they set before their tea-parties 
and sewing-clubs was still to finish the monument 
to the women of the Confederacy. 

"Why not deflect this purpose to a better 
one," Professor Billy was asking them, "and 
build a great State school for the neglected young 
women of the country ? " 

"If," said he to me, "I can commit the Veterans 
and the Daughters to it, I shall have made a 
good start." 

When I had run away from the chance to 
deliver an oration on President Davis, Professor 
Billy received the invitation. But the oration that 
he delivered was a plea for the education by the 
State of neglected country girls. He had some- 
one find a plea for education that Mr. Davis 
had made in some conventional public address 
in early life, and he took this as his text. You 
might have thought that the particular labour 
of Jefferson Davis's whole life was the education 
of women. But the Veterans cheered his name 
and the speech was regarded as a success. 

When, however, it became known that a res- 
olution would be offered in their meeting the 
next day to approve this plan, the managers 
became serious. Colonel Stringweather called 
a group of leading spirits together and made 



174 THE SOUTHERNER 

them an oration on the danger of permitting 
the organization of Veterans to endorse any 
eleemosynary plan or institution. Only Captain 
Bob Logan saw the humour of that. The 
Veterans themselves got only the notion that 
the plan for a girls' school was an eely, slippery 
scheme which it was their duty by all the memories 
of Appomattox to disown. 

On this particular errand, therefore, Professor 
Billy was unsuccessful, as I think he expected 
to be. But he took a cheerful, long look ahead. 
His hopefulness was of such a quality that what 
happened now was of little account. What 
happened even in one generation made no great 
matter. Did he expect to live forever that he 
could be so patient about results? He had, 
in a way, already put himself in the attitude of 
an immortal, for he thought in terms of the only 
immortal personage that we know in our democ- 
racy, namely, the people; and these dying 
survivors of a past epoch were only an incident 
to him, unless he could use them as an instrument. 

But my cousin Margaret scored a success out 
of her misfortune. At the last session of the 
Veterans' Encampment, she was thanked by 
a resolution for risking her life to preserve the 
flag. The orators and the newspapers sounded 
her praise in exalted phrases, and she was the 
heroine of the whole Great Occasion. When 



ON THE ALTAR OF A COLONEL 175 

I called to ask about her she bore her honours 
so sweetly as she reclined on a sofa that it were 
almost worth while, it seemed to me, to create 
a false world and a false atmosphere to give so 
graceful a creature a pretty place to show her 
charms of spirit and of manner. She spoke 
with great reverence of the old heroes, of the 
sacred relics, and even of the eloquent prayer 
which the Reverend Donald Yarborough had 
offered at the closing session. 

" Cousin, if I had called a little earlier that 
evening you would not have been hurt. I came 
here first in the afternoon but you had a meeting 
and Colonel Stringweather was making a speech; 
and I was on my way to see you when the fire 
bell rang that evening. I wish I had been sooner, 
for I might have saved you from that rush to St. 
Peter's." 

"You mean, you'd have stopped me? or gone 
yourself? I'd have gone, too. Nothing could 
have stopped me. Cousin, it was a patriotic 
impulse. You approve of that ? " 

"I should like to have kept you from that 
danger and from all this folderoll since kept 
you, my sweet cousin, in the old, soft, pretty 
ways and in the quiet of home. Have I not 
always loved you in quiet, rather than in the 
glare ? Dear Margaret - 

She lifted herself bolt upright and her pink gown 



176 THE SOUTHERNER 

swept against me perfect in its soft folds and 
in its colour-harmony with all about it. I touched 
the hem of it as it lay on the lounge, and "My 
cousin ' 

"Mr. Nicholas Worth, you don't approve of 
me --you don't, you don't! You don't like 
my saving the flag. You've gone away from 
our people. You've got your Yankee notions." 
She was sitting up declaiming at me, somewhat 
jocularly, still in good humour, but also with 
some seriousness. 

"You wouldn't deliver the oration on President 
Davis. You do not admire him. You do not 
really care for what our fathers fought for. You 
are not Southern. You are not patriotic. Now 
be a good cousin as you were long ago 
and don't drift away from our people." 

I could not go on then. It takes two to quarrel 
and --to make love. I should have to wait 
till another time. 

I said good-bye in a little while and went 
back to Edinboro, my week gone and not a line 
of the History written. 

Although the success of the "graded" schools 
was great, as the Torch boasted and as the 
energetic commercial men of the town thought, 
a surprising thing happened the next summer. 
My brother wished to buy machinery to enlarge 



ON THE ALTAR OF A COLONEL 177 

the mill, and he and I made a visit to New Eng- 
land. My going back to Harvard was the subject 
of a fulsome paragraph in the Torch. 

'The learned superintendent of our schools 
seeks the shrine of his Alma Mater to get new 
inspiration." That was an innocent announce- 
ment surely. But it happened that a Negro 
student from the State was that year one of the 
orators of the graduating class at Harvard; 
and by mid-summer a paragraph about him worked 
its way down into our local newspapers. 

On the same day that Colonel Stringweather 
happened to read this paragraph, he called to 
a Negro boy as he drove up to the postoffice 
and commanded him to hold his horse. 

"Please 'scuse me, boss, I ain't got no time, 
suh. De perfesser is a-waitin' fer me. I try 
to holler fer a boy fer ye"; and he ran, yelling: 

"Come here, somebody, and hoi' Co'nel String- 
weather's hoss," and he disappeared in the 
direction of the Negro school. 

"Damned if this hasn't gone far enough," 
snorted the Colonel, after he had waited for 
some time for another boy. "A nigger graduates 
at Harvard; a Harvard man has our niggers 
taught not to hold a white man's horse the 
bottom rail's gettin' on top, by Gawdamighty, 
too fast." 

His anger boiled, and forgetfulness was not 



1 78 THE SOUTHERNER 

one of his qualities. He wrote to the President 
of Harvard College and asked if a dinner was 
served after the Commencement exercises and 
if coloured graduates were admitted to the dinner. 
The answer he received informed him that "no 
distinction is made at Harvard College between 
students on account of race." 

At the next meeting of the school board the 
Colonel was still excited; and he surprised the 
meeting by saying first that he was not thoroughly 
convinced that there was a clear constitutional 
warrant for free schools anyhow, since they 
seemed necessarily to involve the education of 
Negroes, which was surely a performance not 
contemplated by the framers of the Constitution 
and was subversive of society in its effects. 

He then moved that the board elect a superin- 
tendent for the coming year, and he put in 
nomination a broken-down old preacher who 
delivered lectures on "Christian Literature," and 
"Education without Christ a Sacrilege," at church 
fairs and such places. This summer he had 
made a new lecture on "To Educate the Negro 
is to Bring him into Competition with the White 
Man: Is our Civilization to be Anglo-Saxon 
or African ? " 

Most members of the board were astounded. 
Was Mr. Worth not a satisfactory superintendent? 
They had heard nothing but praise of him. It 



ON THE ALTAR OF A COLONEL 179 

was supposed, of course, that he would continue 
his work. Had he not gone away expecting 
to return ? Was it fair to bring up the subject 
in his absence ? 

All this the Colonel heard in silence and with 
patience. After every man whom he suspected 
of friendliness to me had spoken, he arose: 

"I will briefly explain my motion." 

He first explained that the superintendent 
was elected year by year for only one year, by 
the law; and he expressed great personal regard 
for me and the profoundest admiration for my 
"learning and zeal." (You would have thought 
him my beloved guardian.) But a sacred duty 
to our firesides, aye, to our very religion, to the 
sanctity of our homes, and to the purity of our 
faith and of our race, and to our reverence for 
our brave and noble heroes to these, he said, 
he owed a sacred duty. 

He was loth to criticize a young man of learning 
and zeal and of good family, too; and he 
had hoped that his motion would prevail without 
discussion. It ought to be a quiet proceeding - 
"among ourselves." Some of the gentlemen 
surely knew the grave reason for his action. He 
would make no public charges and he insisted 
that what he said should not be repeated. Then 
he arraigned me "not in anger, but in deep 



sorrow/' 



i8o THE SOUTHERNER 

"First: In the Name of Our Holy Religion. 
He is not a communicant of any church, and 
on one occasion he expressed, in the presence 
of a pious lady, doubt about the divinity of our 
Blessed Lord. 

"Secondly: In the Name of our History and 
our Honoured Dead. He wrote in a book, which 
was put into the hands of the children, senti- 
ments disrespectful to the Confederacy, for which 
so many gave their lives." (The sentence that 
he referred to was one that explained the threat 
of two Governors to secede from the Confederacy 
- a plain, historical fact.) 

"Thirdly: In the Name of our Anglo-Saxon 
Civilerzation. He would teach the nigger just 
as well as he would teach the white child. He 
had held public meetings of niggers and promised 
as much had promised more school-houses 
and more money. He had been taught in a 
Northern college where (I have taken the trouble 
to ascertain) nigger students and white students 
are on an equality; and he has imbibed ideas 
subversive of our civilerzation. I could overlook 
other mistakes and indiscretions in fact, I 
had overlooked them. But at the graduating 
exercises at Harvard this year, Professor Worth 
actually ate with niggers." (He read the letter that 
he had received from the President of the College.) 
"A nigger from this State was awarded honours 



ON THE ALTAR OF A COLONEL 181 

and was at the Commencement dinner, which 
Professor Worth attended. That can not be 
overlooked." 

Against the Church, and the ex-Confederates 
and the Pious Lady and our Honoured Dead 
and Anglo-Saxon " Civilerzation," nothing could 
prevail. My defenders gave up when the letter 
was read from the President of Harvard College. 
I was dismissed, for a failure to reelect me was, 
of course, a dismissal; and I had no appeal. 

Many a man during these years had his career 
cut short by the simple process of invoking these 
forces against him. You will find them in 
almost every Northern and Western State in the 
Union men with the same burning patriotism 
that we bound ourselves to at college, now 
winning success at every calling and hoping 
in quiet hours of self-communion that a chance 
may yet come for them to show the genuineness 
of their boyhood's ambition. The backwardness 
of the Southern people is to a great degree the 
result of this forced emigration of many of its 
young men who would have been the leaders 
of the people and builders of a broader sentiment. 

My dismissal was not published in the news- 
papers. To withhold news about public business 
was often done at the request of the dominant 
colonels. But I could not help wondering, as soon 
as I heard of it, what Margaret would think. 



CHAPTER XV 

THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 

WISE men have ever consoled themselves 
for the slings of Fortune by laughing 
at Fortune's pranks in her absurd humours. 
And this consolation was ours. What, for 
instance, could be more comical than the beggarly 
Confederate Veterans' wildly voting down a res- 
olution in favour of a State college for women 
because they did not wish the schools to become 
an eleemosynary institution ? Or what more 
ludicrous than Colonel Stringweather's church 
maintaining two missionaries on the Congo ? 

But something even more comical than these 
things now happened. The members of the 
Edinboro school board who acquiesced in my 
dismissal but who regretted it, though they did 
not dare oppose it, wrote me a fulsome letter 
of approval and sent me a gold-headed cane 
"as a small token" of their "great esteem." 
Any donkey could then put on a lion's skin and 
label it "Nigger Equality" and bray us into a 
panic, and only Captain Bob Logan and Pro- 
fessor Billy Bain and the gods would have laughed. 

182 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 183 

They laughed immoderately at half the public 
acts done in the Commonwealth. But their 
sense of humour had different effects on them. 
Captain Bob laughed and became melancholy. 
Such folly oppressed him and made him cynical. 
He disrespectfully ridiculed the community, and 
the community of course resented his ridicule. 

Professor Billy, the wiser man, laughed even 
more heartily, but he could not be cynical. He 
showed us the absurdity of much solemn nonsense, 
but he made the humour of it enliven life. 

Fortunately I, too, was able to see the comical 
aspects of my dismissal; for the same mail that 
brought me news of it from Captain Bob (I was 
never officially informed of it) brought news also 
of my appointment for one year as Professor 
of History at the State University. The old 
Professor had died during the summer and I was 
appointed ad interim by a committee of the 
Faculty till the Board of Trustees should meet 
again the next spring. 

Colonel Stringweather was an influential mem- 
ber of the Board of Trustees a fact that Captain 
Bob did not forget; and presently he wrote me: 

"Old Stringweather, you know, is a member 
of the University Board. Wondering how he 
would regard your appointment, I asked him 
if he approved it. 

"'Yes,' he said. ' That'll save him, and he's 



1 84 THE SOUTHERNER 

a fine young man except for his damned foreign 
notions. There ain't no niggers at the University 
and he can do no harm. I'm glad he's got a 
good place. I simply didn't want no nigger- 
business 'round me/ 

"In God's name, was there ever such a human 
comedy ? " 

There was still another little solemn farce 
before my appointment was confirmed. The 
Reverend Doctor Suggs, the editor of the Baptist 
paper, having heard of Colonel Stringweather's 
indictment of me for unbelief, published a protest 
against so ungodly an appointment. But my 
old friend, the Reverend Doctor Babb, now 
editor of the Methodist paper, made amends 
for the fright he had given me in childhood by 
asking the next week if Brother Suggs regarded 
Colonel Stringweather as an eminent authority 
on orthodoxy. Then he published a long and 
fulsome eulogy of my father and of my family. 
In the choice of professors at the University 
the religious sects each insisted upon representa- 
tion; and it so happened that now a representative 
of a Methodist family was required to maintain the 
equilibrium. Else it might have happened that 
the Reverend Doctor Babb should have pressed 
home the Reverend Doctor Suggs's inquiry, and 
they could have defeated my confirmation. 

Doctor Suggs had also alluded to my supposed 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 185 

belief in Evolution. And Doctor Babb answered 
him in this happy fashion: 

"Even if the learned young Professor has 
read the treatises of these modern heretics, Darwin, 
Huxley and the rest, a man of his intellectual 
power would instantly detect their fallacies." 

Professor Billy amused us by calling me the 
great champion of Methodism and anti-Evolution. 
I think that no human creature got more joy 
from life than he, for every event fed his joc- 
ularity. In a previous embodiment he had surely 
been Balzac (whom in this life, however, he had 
not read). But his cheerfulness was serious, 
too. " We've begun to laugh both at the colonels 
and at the preachers," he exclaimed; "and, when 
the public sees the fun, their day will be done." 

Then he made a fable: 'There was a time 
when the Mule was a Beast of Dignity. But 
one day he Backed when he should have gone 
Forward and gave vent to his Feelings and thus 
betrayed his unfortunate Voice. The White Man 
thereupon laughed at the foolish Mule, and gave 
him to a Negro. Forever thereafter the Mule, 
stripped of Influence and Dignity, became the Com- 
panion of the Servile and the Butt of Ridicule." 

Thus there ran through those sombre years 
- if they were sombre a strong note of enjoy- 
ment; and the reader who should think the 



1 86 THE SOUTHERNER 

struggle was a joyless one or that our life was 
sad would make the same grave error that many 
visiting commentators and many noisy statesmen 
made, who gave us their pity and their sympathy 
and got our smiles for their pains. One of the 
grimmest jokes that Time and Fate have played on 
us, who have been the very butt of Time and Fare, 
is this that those who assailed us during those 
dark gray years and those who defended us, those 
who came to write about us and those who rose 
up among us to describe us all, by some 
malign trick of the gods, seem to lack the humour 
that makes life and writing tolerable. 

The very solemnest stupidities of a half-century 
of discussion alike of attack and of defence - 
were spent on the South. Pity and sympathy 
and reproach and praise and encouragement 
were all dull --without one gleam of the humour 
that was necessary to bring it home to us to 
us who even in our gloomiest moods laugh at 
the absurd trimmings on the skirts of Despair 
and often drive her away. I think we hate with 
a necessary and ineradicable hatred only those 
who have no humour and therefore credit us 
with none. Colonel Stringweather and the 
Reverend Doctor Suggs and William Lloyd Gar- 
rison and Jefferson Davis are for this reason with- 
out monuments in the Commonwealth to this day, 
whereas we love Captain Bob Logan and Pro- 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 187 

fessor Billy and Abraham Lincoln and Uncle 
Ephraim. It occurs to me now that I was not 
wholly pleased by Barbara's engagement to Tom 
Warren for this same reason : Tom was not 
quick enough to see the absurdities of the ludicrous 
life all about him. It shows a bad perspective 
to take one's self too sombrely in a world so full 
of bright colours. If we must perform 
pilgrimages let's do them in Chaucer's mood. 

From our mountains to our sea what colour 
and motion and riot of growth stream and 
sun and wind Nature has for all time had 
joy here. Her solemn moods, of course, she 
has, as in our monotony of pines. But even 
there wild flowers laugh up at you through the 
brown carpet. And the men and the women 
who came here from merry England were none 
of your oppressed emigrants, for they wore 
bright clothes. They were resolute conquerors 
of a wilderness but they laughed and made love 
and were merry. 

True, some came from a neighbouring colony 
(as my historical researches have shown me) 
who had been taken from the debtors' prison in 
England. But they surely did not take life very 
solemnly, for their descendants to this day do 
not pay their debts with a conscience-driven 
haste. 

And the Negro, the innocent cause of our 



1 88 THE SOUTHERNER 

woes, is the least solemn of human creatures, 
whose very countenance God made to grin and 
who loves barbaric colours and finds joy in 
his melodies. The solemnity of the Southern 
people, therefore, is not fundamental nor char- 
acteristic. It has been imposed by their mis- 
fortunes and by the literature of their misfortunes. 

Therefore, as I was going on to say when you 
interrupted me and, much to the delay of my 
story, we fell to talking about our natural cheer- 
fulness, life now had a fair outlook, since I could 
laugh at Colonel Stringweather's impeachment 
of me. My mother kissed me, when I told her 
of my promotion to a more dignified position, 
and called me " Professor Worth," and she asked 
if this were what I should like to do for a career. 
There had not gone wholly out of her mind, I 
fancy, the pious ambition that she had first 
cherished for me, nor perhaps, next to that, the 
ambition that my grandfather had held up. 
Either of these, I think, appealed to her more 
strongly even than the teaching of history to 
young men. 

But it would be a useful and surely honourable 
task to teach the youth at the University some- 
thing of our own story as well as the usual chronicle 
of wars and kings in other lands. If I could 
make it clear to them that their grandfathers 
both laughed and worked were happy men 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 189 

as well as earnest that would be much, linking 
the old time to the present and forgetting the 
obtrusive Era of Error, with its solemnities and 
discussions and gloom and war. 

And there was at the University a pleasant 
small company. What a quaint, remote village 
it was in those days! The railway which should 
have run by it was purposely deflected a dozen 
miles or more lest it should corrupt youth; and 
you were obliged to ride these dozen miles in a 
stage coach that was proper penance for more 
sins than youth had been saved from. 

There were the benignant President of the 
University, Judge Bevan, a man of the old time 
who had retired from the bench to this quiet, 
academic post, and his wife and daughter, to whom, 
by the way, Professor Billy Bain was soon to 
be married, the lucky dog! For the course of 
his love ran smoothly. The way it came about 
was too funny to omit. The tale got out somehow 
and I had as well set it down here. 

He had been a more or less frequent visitor 
to the Judge's; but he was a frequent visitor 
to almost every house in the village, and that 
meant nothing to the gossips. But one night, 
when he was telling, stories to Miss Jennie, he 
stopped a moment. Then he changed his tone 
wholly. 

He looked straight at her out of his mild, 



i go THE SOUTHERNER 

childlike eyes looked long and said suddenly, 
with the slight lisp that you would sometimes 
notice in his talk when he was unduly excited: 

"Miss Jennie, we ought to get married now." 

"Why, Mr. Bain!" 

"Ye-th; it will be well. That is what I 
wi-withed to say. It is time now. Don't you 
think so ? 

'Ye-th," he went on without stopping, "we 
will get married now, if you will only say so, 
Jennie," and, giving her no time to protest or to 
coquette or to enjoy the sport it was a cruel, 
straight onrush of a strong purpose that saw no 
difficulties, playful or real. "It is time"; and he 
had each of her hands in his and was swinging 
them back and forth. 

"Mr. Bain!" 

"I wi-th you would call me William, and, if 
you say so, it is time," and his great arms 
enfolded her. 

She had said nothing yet. But she could not 
get away. 

"If you say so," he presently went on, "we 
will tell the Judge now"; and he led her - 
almost dragged her into the President's 
library. 

"May we come in?" asked Professor Billy. 

"Judge, it is time we were getting married - 
if you say so." 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 191 

" Bless my life! Bless my life!" said the 
President, looking over his glasses. 

Mrs. Bevan must have guessed that something 
out of the common was happening; for she came 
in the door just as the President was trying to 
recover from his surprise. 

'Y-eth, Madam, it is time we were getting 
married, if you say so"; and Professor Billy, hav- 
ing released Miss Jennie, now grasped both Mrs. 
Bevans's hands and began to swing them. 

"Well, Jennie," asked her mother, "what 
do you say ? " 

Miss Jennie had yet had no chance to say 
anything. But she put her head in utter confusion 
on her mother's shoulder. Then Professor Billy 
drove the matter home by embracing them both. 

In a little while the couple went back to 
their conversation about the procession of the 
seasons, I suppose and so the story ran. He 
had done another great deed without knowing 
that some men find it a difficult task and that 
most men, from necessity or from choice, make 
it a somewhat lingering task. 

When I heard this story, I said to myself, 
"Courage, man; courage!" 

Louise and Richard Caldwell also* were of 
the group at Acropolis. They had spent their 
boyhood and girlhood in England while their 



192 THE SOUTHERNER 

father was in the military service of the Khedive, 
during the troublesome years that followed our 
Civil War. When he died, they came home and 
took up life at Acropolis where he had left it off. 

Richard was elected to his father's place in 
the Faculty. Louise was her friends and 
neighbours sometimes said " different," whereby 
they meant, perhaps, that her speech had mem- 
ories of English intonations or perhaps they 
meant that till she was aroused she seemed 
somewhat sad. Certainly there was a deep 
seriousness in her nature, whether it were sadness 
or not; and the gossipers of the village sometimes 
connected it with the overwhelmingly sad event 
in her family. But gossipers may guess wrong 
they have been famous for it in the little circles 
of life that I have known. You, no doubt, 
have had similar experiences and even been driven 
by gossip to try to find out what the truth is. 

Then, of course, there were others in Acropolis. 
Most important and most interesting of all, there 
was the company of raw but eager youth who 
had been badly taught but whose joy in life 
(the quality that makes youth youth in all lands) 
meant more than learning. 

There were men, of course, who talked of 
the waste of time and sometimes of the danger 
to character in that little university life, and 
others of the danger of receding from the practical 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 193 

which they supposed a college experience caused. 
But there was ever going on in the life of these 
youths, as of others elsewhere, that fine tempering 
of the spirit which is the eternal gain that may 
not be translated into common speech. I have 
sometimes thought that a college is the only 
place where large bodies of men have the ultimate 
honesty, and there is no such comradeship 
as theirs. 

Our life at the University was enriched, too, 
by the visits of my old Harvard friend, Cooley. 
On the first visit he made me, he discovered 
the unusual qualities (as I think) of my brother 
as a man-of-affairs, and he invested much of his 
own fortune and his mother's in the mills at 
Millworth profitably, too; and thus he had to 
bear the reproaches of some of his friends for 
becoming "an ardent Southerner/' Cooley still 
lacked humour at least he did not suffer 
violently from it; and he accepted many Southern 
sophistries as true. It was fine sport to hear 
him, at the Caldwells' table, who were our most 
frequent hosts, defend the South against Professor 
Billy's criticisms, made for the occasion. 

We had all worked with Professor Billy on 
his plan for a College of Housewifery and of 
Teaching, as we had now come to call it a 
State school for the neglected country girls. 
We had even gone further in our plan-making, 



194 THE SOUTHERNER 

for we had sketched also a School of Cotton Crafts, 
from farming to weaving and selling how 
many crafts there are that have to do with cotton! 
But the College of Housewifery was the first 
thing to demand. 

A total defeat of this plan in two Legislatures - 
defeat by utter indifference and neglect had 
not shaken Professor Billy's purpose. For, if 
those whose duty it was to vote the money to 
build it were slow to act, that was their mis- 
fortune not his fault. But he did not for a moment 
doubt their ultimate action. He had since the 
last Legislature organized a club of about a dozen 
active men who saw the need of better training 
for all the people; and he made them, in a way, 
spokesmen for his plan. By this College of 
Housewifery, we should make a beginning of 
a revolt from the old stupid, formal, exclusive 
teaching of the favoured few. 

And now another Legislature had assembled. 
He was ready with his bill and with a petition 
signed by his allies of the Club. It had got 
so far as to have a hearing set before the Com- 
mittee on Education. The first speaker before 
the Committee was the Reverend Doctor Suggs. 
He had held a caucus of the Baptist members 
of the Legislature at his office, and it had been 
decided to oppose the bill. Doctor Suggs, there- 
fore, informed the Committee that "the proposed 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 195 

measure to appropriate moneys from the Literary 
Fund to a college for women deserves prayerful 
attention for several reasons: 

"First: Would such a school be under godly 
conduct ? Would it train Christian womanhood ? 
There are no better women in the world than 
our country women. If some of them are lacking 
in the higher accomplishments, they do not 
lack in Christian character. The State school 
for men (the University), to which much of the 
public moneys are given every year, is not an 
institution noted for its encouragement of a holy 
life. The most brilliant young man in this 
city drank himself into a drunkard's grave after 
he had graduated with honour there. 

"Secondly: Since we, of our church, tax our- 
selves already to maintain our own most excellent 
Seminary for Young Ladies, it behooves us to 
consider whether we should justly be called on 
to pay a double tax our contribution to our 
own school, where the daughters of our own 
people are educated, and a public tax in addition, 
to educate other men's daughters at a State 
institution. 

" Thirdly: If the proposed institution should 
be established, who shall conduct it and who 
shall be its teachers ? " 

Then a new enemy came forward -- Major 
Thome, the editor of the Globe, who was reputed 



196 THE SOUTHERNER 

to be a great constitutional scholar. He arose, 
he said, "simply to inquire whether the true 
spirit of the Constitution of the Fathers permitted 
the expenditure of the public revenues for a class 
of the community, as distinguished from the whole. 
Lovely and estimable as this class was God 
bless all our women! they are not voters. I 
merely think it proper to inquire whether the 
Fathers had not meant primarily to shape the 
school system, maintained by the public revenues, 
with chief reference to the public service, as 
the militia is maintained. Is manhood education 
not implied rather than the education of women 
- a special class ? I am not myself wholly 
clear as to this constitutional point; I simply 
throw it out for the consideration of the learned 
committee on the Literary Fund." 

The Episcopal bishop nodded and said half 
aloud to the learned editor that it was an ingenious 
presentation of the subject to say the least. 

"Gentlemen, are you all done with your doubts 
and questions ? " asked Professor Billy, when 
he arose with the air of a Covenanter. He was 
the very impersonation of cheerful combat. He 
stepped forward with a gait that said, "Come 
after me who will; I am ready." First he told 
a barnyard story that caused the committee to 
laugh at the learned lawyer's constitutional 
argument. 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 197 

Then he swelled up and spoke in earnest. "I. 
have travelled from one end of this State to the 
other. I have met the country women. I know 
them. I know how narrow a life they have. I 
know how they would profit by such a school, if 
it were theirs were the people's were free 
to them. In all our rural counties there are 
young women of the same good English and 
Scotch stock that you belong to. They come 
of a class of our people that we always praise. 
Many of them are ignorant. Thousands of 
them are even illiterate. The only chance under 
heaven that will be given to them and to their 
children will be given by trained women who 
shall go out into our country places as teachers; 
and this school will train such teachers. We 
have none now. The State makes provision for 
the education of its sons. Any energetic boy 
may get at least the rudiments of an education. 
Moreover, he can go away from home. He 
can walk. He can work. The doors of 
opportunity are not closed to him. Not so 
with our girls. There is no way open for them. 
This is the supreme failure and ghastly tragedy 
of our civilization." 

But the Church and the State were both hostile 
-"We are the happiest people on God's foot- 
stool" and the committee did not even report 
the bill to the House. 



ig8 THE SOUTHERNER 

For the great event of the session that winter 
was the proposal to pension Confederate veterans. 
Such a pension would increase the taxes, it was 
feared; and to increase taxes was, of course, 
unthinkable. Still something must be done for 
our heroes who were wounded or who are 
destitute. There was no difference of opinion 
about granting the pensions, but the debate 
was: How great shall they be? And that con- 
sumed the whole session. Almost every member 
delivered a long speech on the bill. Oratorical 
narratives of the whole war and the most profuse 
praise of our heroes were delivered, day after 
day, till the bill itself was forgotten. The talk 
was only about the relative merits of this orator 
and of that. Colonel Stringweather's description 
of the battle of Malvern Hill was thought by 
most persons to be the finest oratorical effort 
that had ever been heard in the State House 
perhaps the greatest speech ever delivered in 
our language. It was " destined to become 
classic," and give him rank with Burke and 
Calhoun and Yancey and Toombs. It contained 
this passage descriptive of the Southern civili- 
zation for which these veterans had fought: 

"Illimitable wealth and boundless content were 
present everywhere. Her civilization was, in all 
that makes up the real blessings of civilization, 



THE HARBOUR OF ACROPOLIS 199 

the purest and loftiest time has ever yet known. 
Her people stood apart among the nations of the 
world. Their bosoms were the home of the most 
exalted honour. Whatever was mean, or low, 
or sordid, fled scorned from her borders. Majes- 
tic truth, imperial conscience, Olympian power, 
toned by the very courtesy of the gods, lifted its 
noble men and its glorious women far, far up, 
above the levels of other civilizations. Content, 
happy, prosperous, moved always to splendid 
action by the highest ideals, if some god descend- 
ing from superior worlds, in quest of the race 
most akin to his own, had swept with his vision 
the land of the South in '60, he would have claimed 
us as his offspring and here made his home." 

And so the years seemed likely to pass in this 
rhetorical orbit; but even orbits sometimes suffer 
change. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE "WHITE MAN" AND THE "COTTON BOLL" 

YOU might ride all day along sandy paths 
through the forest of primeval long-leaf 
pines, hearing their moan at the slightest touch 
of wind, and you would see nothing to break 
the monotony of the way. The same high, 
green, singing trees, the same sandy level, the 
same sparse undergrowth, the same floor of 
brown needles, even if you rode for many days. 
The little unpainted houses that you would pass 
are of the same pattern, a little porch, two rooms, 
an "ell," and a hot space under the roof, and a 
yard with no green thing growing in it sand 
everywhere. The Negro cabins, too, are all 
alike. The absence of paint and the absence 
of green would soon depress you. 

If you turned your way toward the river, you 
would come at last to the swamps of huckleberry, 
magnolia, and cypress, with weird "knees" 
sticking up like deformities. Here you would 
find impenetrable places unless you knew your 
way by long habit of going. It is a monotonous 
and almost uninhabited land. 



THE "WHITE MAN" 201 

Near the county-town on the river you might 
meet a countryman on the road in the spring 
and if you asked him what he had in his wagon 
he would say: 

"Fruit and lumber, God bless you," by which 
he would mean huckleberries and poles to make 
barrel-hoops; for "fruit" grew wild in the swamps 
and the making of rosin barrels was the chief 
craft of the region. 

Even the lumberman had not yet come here 
except along the river; and the "turpentine- 
getter" was the master of industrial life. You 
knew his presence by the sepulchral appearance 
of miles and miles of pines which he had "boxed," 
and the exuding turpentine painted a tombstone 
on every tree. 

The turpentine-worker is a nomad. He makes 
a trail further and further into the forest, and 
the Negroes whose craft is the boxing of the 
trees and the gathering of the turpentine are 
wandering labourers. Nomadic, too, are many 
of the Negro workers in the lumber camps on 
the river. 

The simple, sparse, backward agricultural pop- 
ulation of the region were in the main the neglected, 
untrained, home-keeping, poor country folk, who 
toiled in slovenly ways and to little purpose - 
the pathetic by-products of slavery. Upon them 
were thrust the lumber and turpentine workers, 



202 THE SOUTHERNER 

rougher by far, and lawless when pay-day and 
grog-time came. 

At the county-seat of this somewhat lawless, 
lone region of poor white men and migratory 
black men, there had long been published a 
commonplace weekly paper that had been like 
hundreds of others in inanity. But an energetic 
youth was now become its editor and he found 
excitement in describing all the disorders of the 
lumber and turpentine camps. Sometimes one 
drunken Negro stabbed another; that event 
was worth mention. But sometimes a Negro 
stabbed a white man, and that event was more 
serious. Once in a while a drunken row ended 
in murder. Between serious crimes there were 
always the thefts of hogs and chickens. 

And once there was a particularly wicked 
crime committed within the county-town itself; 
and the drunken Negro was quickly swung to 
a tree. In the excitement that followed, the 
editor took the phrase that was on everybody's 
lips as the motto of his paper; and in large type 
he declared, "This is a white man's country." 

There was such a response to this original 
observation that he changed the name of his 
paper from The Examiner, which meant nothing, 
to The White Man, which meant much; and 
The White Man every week published under its 
large-typed motto an account of some crime 



THE "WHITE MAN" 203 

by a Negro. If no crime were conveniently 
committed in the neighbourhood, he copied from 
some other paper the report of one that had been 
committed at a distance. The White Man thus 
became a repository in general of reports of 
crimes committed by black men. 

In the inane politics of the region, the editor 
of The White Man found it easy to be elected to 
the Legislature, where also he became the best 
authority on Negro criminality. For several 
terms he was endured with silence and was regarded 
as a nuisance. There seemed no imminent 
danger that the country would be overwhelmed 
with crime because of occasional crimes by 
drunken Negroes in lumber camps. 

During these same years, if you had ridden 
over another part of the State, you would have 
seen endless miles of cotton-farms, whereon men 
toiled at the primary industry of the region 
toiled in the old wasteful way of slavery, and 
mortgaged the poor yield of ill-tilled acres for 
bacon and guano, before the cotton bolls opened 
a population in poverty on a land of unsur- 
passed fertility, and the only land in the world 
that has a practical monopoly of a great staple 
crop. 

A leader arose here, too a harebrained, 
energetic, oratorical man of long whiskers and 



204 THE SOUTHERNER 

a long tongue, who rightly saw that the farmers 
were in the bondage of the cotton-merchants; 
and he organized a revolt. His paper, The Cotton 
Boll, demanded this and demanded that; but 
most of all he preached organization. And, since 
these farmers had plenty of time, they heard 
his speeches and organized lodges. Thus The 
Cotton Boll and The White Man became powers 
in the land, one crying for the disfranchisement 
of the Negro, the other for the building by the 
Government of warehouses where cotton might 
be stored and money advanced on it. 

Another campaign for the governorship would 
come on after a while. For years Senator Barker 
and his subordinates had found nothing else 
necessary to keep his party in easy control than 
praise of the old soldiers and more recently of 
the fair Daughters. "The platform," said 
Captain Bob Logan, "has been, 'We hold on/ 
and the battle-signal is the waving of the 
Confederate flag." 

But now a new cry must be found. The 
Veterans were pensioned and the war was 
further and further behind us. The Cotton Boll 
had made an organization of agricultural dis- 
content such as the political leaders had never 
before faced. Moreover, there was now an 
almost open rebellion against the further rule 
of the "generals and colonels." 



THE " WHITE MAN" 205 

The manager of State politics was Colonel 
Stringweather, and his vane turned on an easy 
pivot. 

And everybody now began to be aware that 
the campaign was coming on. One man would 
say to another in the street, "The Colonel will 
soon start the ball rollin'." We had an instinct 
for campaigns. The Maryborough Globe, which 
had been as dull as the town, began to publish 
little remarks about the Colonel. You could read 
one day that this, that, or the other prominent 
gentleman had conferred with him; another day 
that he would soon have an announcement to 
make; another day that he had almost perfected 
the plans for the convention. In this way, the 
capital city and the whole State became aware 
afresh of Colonel Stringweather, for he had gone 
to Marlborough and made his headquarters at 
the hotel. When he walked down the street 
everybody spoke to him with much greater con- 
sideration than they had usually shown. Colonel 
Stringweather was on the horizon; the political 
game was about to begin; and the town would be 
filled with people when that noteworthy week 
came. The boarding-houses were cleaned; the 
platform of the town-hall was mended; and 
the hackmen rubbed the mud from their vehicles. 
The course of coming events was as clear 
in Colonel Stringweather's mind as the campaign 



206 THE SOUTHERNER 

against France was in Von Moltke's. But like 
a good strategist he let it out gradually. It was 
an interesting thing to watch the waking-up 
of the whole community when he gave the signal. 

"General," said he to Senator Barker, "I 
reckon we've done our duty to the old soldier, 
and I reckon he's done about all he can do for 
us. We'll not forget him, God bless him, but 
we have now turned him over to the tender care 
of the ladies. This nigger business is gittin' 
serious. See the list of race crimes in this one 
issue of The White Man?" 

The next political battle-cry was thus decided 
on especially since other Southern States, far 
blacker in population than ours, had shown 
the way to make successful anti-Negro campaigns. 

But Senator Barker knew the absurdity of 
demanding Government warehouses and Govern- 
ment payments on cotton. "We'll hold the 
farmers on the white man's rallying-cry," said 
he. He would use T be White Man to keep The 
Cotton Boll within bounds. 

This cry for the disfranchisement of the Negro, 
moreover, made within limits its appeal to reason 
and even to righteousness. We had year after 
year had a ballot based on corruption and fraud 
in the Negro counties. Men who regarded them- 
selves as good men and noble citizens preferred 
to see the Negro cheated at an election to risking 



THE "WHITE MAN" 207 

a return of the debauchery of the Reconstruction 
period. Yet it was more and more demoralizing 
to have the ballot fraudulent. Not only were 
men's consciences blunted but their practices 
became more and more immoral. White men 
cheated white men. The foundations of political 
morality were undermined. 

Were it not better, even the best men asked 
themselves, openly and by the forms of law to 
disfranchise the mass of the Negroes ? 

The church papers took this view; and Colonel 
Stringweather knew that he could reckon on 
the support of the Reverend Doctors Suggs 
and Babb and make a moral appeal to the civic 
conscience of the best citizens. 

Just before the Democratic convention, The 
White Man gave all its space in one issue to a 
recapitulation of the crimes of Negroes against 
white men in our State and in adjacent States, 
and all the other papers discussed the startling 
list this, of course, at Colonel Stringweather 's 
suggestion. 

The farmers, too, were becoming conscious 
in the mass that something was wrong. 
The waters of their long patience were stirring. 
And there was grave danger in the people's 
weariness of barren legislation danger to their 
political masters. And we now had further lessons 
in that most fascinating of all studies the 



2 o8 THE SOUTHERNER 

study of the rising up of a people --how it is 
and why and when a mass of men will move 
or be moved, and in what direction, and by what 
impulse; and what are the ways whereby their 
motion may be directed to their upbuilding or 
deflected to their confusion. 

We of the Club, whose ideas were now beginning 
to become clear, welcomed the rising tide of 
rural discontent, and it gave us courage to prepare 
a plan to direct it. We wrote a little statement: 

"That it is an economic necessity to build 
and maintain schools at the public expense 
to teach farming and hand-work (as well as book- 
work) one for white boys and one for Negroes; 
and 

"That to divide the public-school money 
between the races in proportion to the taxes 
paid by each race is fallacious and dangerous to 
our economic welfare; for the basis on which un- 
iversal public education rests is the economic value 
to the State of trained men over untrained men. 

"That limitations of the suffrage ought to apply 
alike to each race." 

Every member of the Club (there were now 
but seven) signed it; and I presented it to 
Colonel Stringweather. (We had, of course, never 
quarrelled and had silently forgiven one another, 
as good Christians should.) Would he not use 
his influence ("using influence" was the current 



THE "WHITE MAN" 209 

euphemism) to have this put in the Democratic 
platform ? 

"I'll be damned if I do, Professor," was the 
quick answer that he gave. "We're taxed too 
much now and to be taxed for nigger education 
why, there are three niggers in that woodpile 
you've got there : a school to teach niggers 
farming (a mule and a plow is the school they 
need); next, white men's taxes (not niggers' 
taxes) to pay for nigger education; third, to 
make an ignorant nigger as good as an old soldier. 
Too much nigger nigger nigger. This is a 
regular Radical platform. Go over to the nigger 
party or burn it up. It's a crazy business, just 
when the niggers' day is about to end for good." 

But the suggested plank was published in 
The Cotton Boll. A few days later I met Colonel 
Stringweather on the train. 

"Building a fire behind me, eh? That's your 
game, is it, Worth?" The Colonel then showed 
me letters from several committeemen ridiculing 
our suggestion; from others meekly asking him 
what attitude they should take toward it; none 
favouring it. 

"Your game won't work you fellers have gone 
clean crazy about education, particularly of nig- 
gers." ; and the Colonel took a fresh chew of tobacco. 

The Democratic Convention met; and all the 
political colonels with broad hats and chin-whiskers 



210 THE SOUTHERNER 

came to the capital. There was the usual gossip 
the night before at the hotel and the usual cau- 
cusing. For Governor since a young man 
must be put up, to meet the criticism that the 
Generals and the Colonels had held power too 
long Tom Warren seemed clearly to have the 
lead. Most men who are spoken of for high 
office fancy that such talk springs up because of 
their conspicuous fitness; and Tom was very 
like other such men. 

Among the delegates little was heard about 
our proposed plank in the platform. There 
would be a committee on platform; and what do 
conventions have committees on platforms for 
if not to bring in the usual ringing empty periods ? 
Had any platform ever been discussed in 
convention ? 

When the convention assembled, the usual 
things were done. The roof echoed applause 
to the presiding officer's speech. He "castigated" 
the National Republican party and congratulated 
the people of the Commonwealth on having*the 
best State Government under heaven, where 
the white man's supremacy was preserved; and 
"heaven itself, when we shall all reach the 
golden shore, will have few surprises for us 
because it can offer few felicities that we have 
not already enjoyed." Everybody applauded this 
happy climax. 



THE " WHITE MAN" 211 

The platform reported by the committee con- 
tained not even an allusion to our proposed 
plank. One delegate arose and proposed it as 
an addition to the platform. The chairman 
facetiously explained that it would "teach a 
nigger to read and spoil a good plow-han', and 
put the bottom rail on top and perch a nigger 
woman on the fence." 

"A coloured lady from a college," added 
Colonel Stringweather in derision, and the 
convention laughed as it yelled, "No o, No o." 

The platform that was adopted was The 
White Mans platform to divide the school 
money between the races according to the amount 
of taxes paid by each; and to exclude illiterate 
Negroes from the polls but not illiterate white 
men who had served in the war or whose fathers 
had so served. It boasted of the sums spent for 
education; and then followed the usual "casti- 
gation" of the enemies of the public welfare. 
The platform was read by a man with a voice 
that filled the hall; and at the conclusion of his 
reading a little dramatic scene was acted that 
Colonel Stringweather had arranged. He leaped 
to the front of the platform, waving his hat in 
one hand and a tattered Confederate flag in the 
other, and cried: "The Ladies God bless 'em 
and the Old Soldiers, now and forever!" 

A group of young women rose from the front 



212 THE SOUTHERNER 

seats in the gallery and waved Confederate 
flags. Men threw their hats high toward the 
ceiling and yelled themselves hoarse. They forgot 
the order of the proceedings; and, when the 
confusion had gone beyond the hope of restoring 
order, the chairman declared the convention in 
recess till two o'clock. 

I sat in the gallery and I saw my cousin Mar- 
garet among the flag-wavers. With her sat the 
Reverend Donald Yarborough. 

The Club, of course, had as its only purpose 
the training of the neglected youth of the State 
to useful occupations, to make work again seem 
worthy, as it had seemed before the blight of 
slavery. We had no other purpose. But the 
colonels had so directed the convention and 
so shaped public discussion that every proposition 
of the Club had been turned into an apparent 
defence of the Negro. Nor had we thought 
or said any criticism of the Confederate veterans. 
But the game had been so skilfully played that 
the Club had been made to appear as hostile 
to the veterans, to the Confederacy, to "our 
heroes," to the history and traditions of the 
State made to appear as a conspiracy of 
traitors, and even as insulters of "the ladies, God 
bless 'em." 

And when Tom Warren was nominated next 



THE "WHITE MAN" 213 

day, with a great shout, much was made of his 
youth and, therefore, of the great chance that 
all young men have. 

I congratulated Tom on his nomination; but 
I remarked, "I wish you had put up a better 
man for Superintendent of Public Schools." 

" Don't you like to see the Baptists recognized ? " 
Tom asked, with a smile; for the convention 
had nominated Dr. Craybill, a broken-down 
preacher who had as the " financial agent" of 
the Baptist college made many speeches about 
"Christian Education"; and he had lately written 
much in the newspapers about the necessity of 
regularly reading the Bible in the common schools. 
Captain Bob Logan amused himself by writing 
a letter to the Edinboro Torch saying that nobody 
had ever objected to the regular reading of the 
Bible in the common schools and that the con- 
troversy, therefore, was one in every way worthy 
of the powers of the reverend gentleman. 

"If," he went on, "there are possibly a few 
schools wherein the Bible is not read, the failure 
is due not to a lack of Christian character but 
only to the inability of the teachers to read." 

Thus "Christian Education" also was most 
heartily endorsed by the Democratic Convention. 

And my fight with Colonel Stringweather was 
not yet ended nor with Tom Warren. 



CHAPTER XVII 

AN EXILE FROM HAPPINESS 

THIS swift succession of political events into 
which I found myself drawn, because of 
the forced activity of our Club and without the 
slightest intention on my part (for I was now 
really about to begin the writing of my History 
of the State, having gathered much material 
and got my work at the University fairly a-going) 
- these events have forced me forward in this 
chronicle so rapidly that I must now go back 
and pick up my story. 

Barbara for a time was very happy in her 
engagement to Tom, as earnest young natures 
are wont to be under such interesting experiences; 
and we looked forward to their marriage in 
due time. 

But she happened to make a visit to the Old 
Place, where she took much interest in the baby 
of Aunt Martha's ward a "cunning" child 
that enlivened the somewhat dreary household of 
Uncle Ephraim. 

She came home saying nothing about this to 
anybody except to Aunt Eliza. But she shut 

214 



AN EXILE FROM HAPPINESS 215 

herself in her room for days, and a strange melan- 
choly seized her. All that the household knew 
was her announcement one day, in a casual tone, 
as if she were speaking of something that had 
happened long ago that her engagement with 
Tom Warren was broken. 

She gave herself still more devotedly to her relig- 
ious and school work in the mill village. She was 
a very angel to every sick person there and to 
everyone who had suffered a sorrow, till at last 
she announced one day (again through Aunt 
Eliza) that she was going as a missionary to 
China. It was on the very day when the Demo- 
cratic Convention nominated the Hon. Thomas 
Gaston Warren for Governor, that Barbara held 
the last meeting of her Mothers' Club in the 
little Methodist Church at Millworth. She told 
them that she should not meet them again - 
certainly not for a long time, perhaps never in 
this life; for she had now made arrangements 
to carry out the plan that God had plainly showed 
as her duty. 

The factory women who heard her burst 
into tears, some audibly. Nobody spoke for 
some time but the sobs became louder; and 
presently by a common impulse they all knelt 
to pray. In a trembling voice, Mrs. Vawter 
expressed in her homely way what they all felt: 

"Our Heavenly Father, we part with our 



216 THE SOUTHERNER 

best frien', the sister who Thou callest to a holier 
work in a furren Ian'. Go with her, Heavenly 
Father; lead her by the han' in rough places. 
Bless her sweet young life to the conversion of 
the heathen. O Father, keep her in health, 
save her on the sea, preserve her from sickness 
and bring her back safe to us who need her and 
love her with sheaves of glory. An* if we 
meet no mo', O Heavenly Father, gather us 
all round the great white throne whar thar'll 
be no heathen and no partin'. For Christ's 
sake, Amen." 

They arose hesitantly and clumsily, bowed 
with a deep grief; and they sat sobbing for a 
long time. Barbara could not speak for her 
emotion. Presently she went to the little organ 
and began to play the tune that they usually 
sang to the hymn: 

From Greenland's icy mountain, 
From India's coral strand. 

"I came," she then said, "just to say good- 
bye. I shall go away the day after to-morrow. 
Everything is ready. It is hard to part, but 
I shall be happy doing God's will; and I want 
you to remember me in your prayers always. 
Let us look on the cheerful side of it I'll 
come back again; and I shall hope to find 
you all alive and full of the love of our dear 
Saviour." 



AN EXILE FROM HAPPINESS 217 

They pressed her hand; some of them threw 
their arms about her; and one good old woman 
knelt and kissed her gown, the tears running 
down her face in a stream. 

Barbara wished that she were to take the train 
that very minute, as she came out of the little 
church and locked the door. Was it wise to 
go, after all? "God calls," she muttered, and 
she clenched her hands in resolution. She was 
impatient to reach her room where she could 
pray alone; and she dreaded to see her brothers 
or anybody else, for the very sight of them might 
pull her back. It was hard to go she had not 
known how hard. 

The train from Marlborough stopped just as 
she came by the station and I got off. I saw 
her and waited for her; and we walked together 
to the house. Except a bare greeting neither 
spoke for a minute or two. Presently I said: 

* * Have you heard the news from Marlborough ? '' 

"No." 

"The Convention nominated Tom Warren 
for Governor to-day." 

"That is what was expected, wasn't it?" 

"Yes." 

Another silence followed; and soon we were 
at the house. She put her arm on mine, before 
we ascended the steps and said: 

"Brother Nicholas, you must not talk to me 



2i8 THE SOUTHERNER 

- any of you about my going away. Please 
tell them all" and she fell heavily on my shoulder 
"all all that they must talk about some- 
thing else. I wish I did not have to go." 

It was a very difficult supper to sit through 
that night. I told Charles about the convention. 
At one time, I became really interested in what 
I was saying, when I explained with indignation 
how the managers had pretended to do every- 
thing that the people needed but had dexterously 
avoided doing anything how they had nomi- 
nated Tom Warren to draw the young men's 
vote and old Craybill, the Baptist "financial 
agent," for Superintendent of Schools to draw 
the Baptist vote, and how they had caught the 
old soldier vote and Colonel Stringweather's 
open hypocrisy about the whole game. 

But again a silence fell on the company. As 
Barbara put her arm about Charles's baby's 
neck to adjust its napkin, she drew the little 
thing close to her. 

'You precious child," she said; and she 
kissed her and called her "little Barbara, my 
little Barbara you'll grow and grow you 
are little Barbara now." 

We had finished supper or had we ? Never 
mind; she went around the table silently kissing 
every one of us. Then she went to her own 
room, taking the baby with her. 



AN EXILE FROM HAPPINESS 219 

Charles and I sat for some time on the piazza. 
In silence I arose and walked to and fro for a while. 

"By heavens, Charles, it all comes over me 
now as a sea of humiliation. I haven't done 
my duty. If I had stayed here she might have 
been spared this morbid experience. I ought 
to have paid Barbara more attention got her 
interested in something else. I could have taken 
her to Acropolis to live with me, or, if I had 
known in time, I could have travelled with her, 
perhaps, and devoted myself to her in some way 
and have prevented this turn of her mind. We 
ought not to have permitted this religious mania 
to prey on her disappointed affections." 

'You couldn't have done it, not to save your 
life you couldn't. After Bishop Jarrett came 
here from China and made his missionary speeches, 
nothing could have stopped her. If you had had 
her where she could never have heard of him, 
perhaps she wouldn't have gone; but it's only 
a * perhaps.' For Barbara has been excessively 
religious from her childhood; and this missionary 
purpose was in her mind and make-up from 
the beginning. It is the logically noble thing 
to do from her point of view. If you are going 
into church work at all, go into the hardest, most 
glorious part of it. It is the same impulse in 
her that has moved you in your work to do 
the best thing in sight." 



220 THE SOUTHERNER 

Aunt Eliza came out and spoke in low tones 
of our martyr. 

"You ought both to feel proud of Barbara. 
She's giving you both up. She's giving up 
everything she loves here to obey the highest 
call of duty. She's the crown of the whole 
family, the blessed girl. If I had had her oppor- 
tunity and her call after the Captain died I 
wish I could go with her now." 

She went back into the house. 

" Don't you see, Nick, how she looks at it?" 
said my brother. " Almost everybody but you 
and me looks at it in that way. They glorify 
her. They envy her. The preachers and the 
bishops praise her. It's all in the point of view. 
She's got to work out her life herself as we work 
out ours ourselves." 

Next morning Barbara was unnaturally cheer- 
ful. She spoke of her journey as one would speak 
who was going on a pleasure trip. She spoke 
of the arrangements that had been made. She 
and her old school-mate, Grace Etheridge, were 
to meet Bishop and Mrs. Jarrett in Baltimore. 
She had just heard from them. There would 
be a party of seven in all; and the journey would 
be full of new experiences. She should have 
many things to write about even before she 
reached China. 

When a thing once becomes inevitable, we 



AN EXILE FROM HAPPINESS 221 

are so made that we accept it and in a little while 
regard it as a part of Nature herself in her 
unquestioned workings. 

The young missionaries went away and added 
one more to our smothered tragedies. 

The one thing in our lives that the Old Shadow 
did not fall on was the mill by the river. The 
water flowed ever, the spindles turned, the looms 
were busy. Human bodies somewhere in the 
world were clad with the unfailing woof of the 
sunbeams on our fields. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

THE REVOLT 



THE Club promptly met after the Demo- 
cratic Convention, and somebody said: 
"We will fight now, if we have any courage 



in us/ 3 



"Yes," said all the rest. 

Time for discussion had passed. We had 
made a programme for better public schools, for 
schools to teach trades, to teach agriculture, to 
train teachers. We had not been, and we did not 
now wish to be, a political club. But, as soon as 
we had tried to do a task that was worth while, we 
were ridiculed and opposed by the most power- 
ful organization in the State. 

"There's only one way to do," we agreed. 
"We'll tell the people the truth about the schools 
and about politics; and we'll call a convention and 
nominate a State Superintendent of Schools on our 
platform." 

Bolt ? 

Yes, bolt. We'll take a stand for independent 
action and be beaten if we must. It is time men 
were saying what they think in this State. 



THE REVOLT 223 

This was the platform and the "call" that we 
drew up: 

" To the Voters of the Commonwealth: This 
is a political platform in which you will find no 
evasions. If you wish to face the truth, you will 
read it. If you wish to make the State a better 
place to live in, you will act on it. 

"One-fourth the adults in our State are illiterate. 
This is almost the very worst condition in any of 
the States. 

"Yet the men who settled our colony were as 
sturdy men as ever came from England and Scot- 
land. They were men who worked. They cleared 
and plowed the earth. They manufactured things, 
too. There was a time when our population and 
wealth gave us a high place among the States. 
Our grandfathers and their fathers were not only 
industrious, they were trained men. They 
regarded it as honourable to work with their hands. 
If you will look back into your family history, you 
will probably find that your grandfather or your 
great-grandfather was a wheelwright, or a black- 
smith, or a carpenter, as well as a farmer. They 
made iron that was sold in Massachusetts. 
They made the steel from which the guns used 
in the Revolutionary War were forged. Our great- 
grandmothers spun the cloth that they wore. 
We had a prosperous State one of the first in 
the Union. 



224 THE SOUTHERNER 

" Then slavery came. Instead of growing every- 
thing that was good and useful, people now began 
to neglect other crops and to grow cotton only. 
The slaves worked the cotton. A few men came 
to own great plantations which slaves worked for 
them. 

"A great change thus came. But it came so 
gradually that no one generation saw how great 
it was. After a while, it had become the fashion 
to have slaves do all the work. Men who owned 
slaves ceased to do work with their own hands. 
Work with the hands came to be considered some- 
what disgraceful the mark of a poor man; 
and * hands' came to mean other men's hands, 
for why should a man work with his hands if he 
could own slaves ? 

"Thus it gradually came about that nobody 
worked with his hands but slaves and poor white 
men; and a white man who worked with his hands 
showed thereby that he was a poor man, doing a 
slave's work. In this way the white man ceased 
to love to work. Slavery killed his working habits. 

"Slavery thus kept the poor man poor and made 
him poorer. It denied him as good a chance to be 
respectable, to be educated, and to educate his 
children as his grandfather had had. 

"Yet slavery became the fixed doctrine and 
habit. The public men defended it. The preach- 
ers said that the Bible sanctioned it. Thus 



THE REVOLT 225 

religion and politics championed slavery and made 
life harder and harder for the poor man. 

"At last we had a war, and slavery was abolished. 
Everything had gone from bad to worse by that 
time. The Negroes were even set to rule over us 
for a period. Such a state of things, of course, could 
not last long. It is passed now. We can rule our- 
selves as we wish. But many of the old habits 
of slavery continue. Very few white men know 
how to work skilfully with their hands. Still 
fewer Negroes now know; for there has been 
nobody to teach them since slavery. 

"The result is, we have become poorer and 
poorer. We do not make enough things. We do 
not cultivate our farms well enough. Too many 
men yet look down upon work. We buy every- 
thing from the North even our axe-handles and 
our plows and our buckets and our harness. We 
even buy our bacon. The way to get out of these 
habits and out of this poverty is to start again 
just where our ancestors were when slavery be- 
gan to destroy their habits of work. 

"Now let us see how we can do it. 

"We propose to have schools for boys, where 
they can learn to farm better. In the Western 
States men make twice as much from an acre of 
ground as we make. We want schools to teach 
trades, too. The people need these schools and 
we mean that they shall have them. There must 



226 THE SOUTHERNER 

also be a good common school within the reason- 
able reach of every child in the State. There 
must be the same sort of schools for the Negroes, 
too. The only way to make them better is to 
train them to teach them trades, to teach them 
the honour and the necessity of work. The Negro 
menace is Negro ignorance. We must do this 
not only for their own sake, but also for our 
protection. 

" Does all this not seem reasonable ? We 
think that it is both reasonable and necessary. 
Therefore, we drew up a petition and presented 
it to the Democratic Convention, asking that 
these things be put in the platform. Then the 
Legislature would vote money for them. Other- 
wise it will not. 

"But they refused to hear us; and we now pro- 
pose to demand these things ourselves. 

"These are our purposes; and we have no polit- 
ical purpose. Training is more important than 
parties or politics; and we should not favour inde- 
pendent political action if the Democratic leaders 
had favoured these measures. 

"We do, however, think it wise to limit the 
voters; but it must be fairly done. A man who 
cannot read and who will not pay a poll-tax of 
two dollars does not deserve to vote. But white 
men and black men ought to be treated alike. 
To permit an old soldier to vote who cannot read 



THE REVOLT 227 

and will not pay a poll-tax merely because he 
was a soldier and to forbid a Negro to vote who 
cannot read and will not pay a poll-tax, is to give 
the Negro an incentive denied to the soldier; for it 
gives the Negro a reason to learn to read, and 
it gives the old soldier content with his ignorance. 

"Most of the talk about the old soldiers is hum- 
bug; and you know it. Any man who served in 
the war if he be a man asks no favours 
because he was a soldier. If he asks special 
favours now, he was probably an unworthy sol- 
dier. Most of the talk about the Negro also is 
humbug. If we limit the suffrage, and deal 
fairly and enforce the laws, and train the ignor- 
ant to industry, we shall have no Negro problem. 

"The truth is, men of the Commonwealth, this 
kind of humbug in politics is keeping us back, 
keeping us poor, keeping our children ignorant. 
And the insincere men who are our leaders are driv- 
ing many young men away from home. Young 
men leave our State by thousands for freer chances 
elsewhere. They go where work is better paid for, 
where there are better schools, where men may 
think and speak with freedom. 

"We propose, then, to nominate an Indepen- 
dent State Superintendent of Public Instruction 
who thinks as we think; and we ask you to send 
delegates to a convention for that purpose that 
will meet in Marlborough on August 1st. And 



228 THE SOUTHERNER 

we ask you to make your candidates for the Legis- 
lature pledge themselves to these plans. If they 
do not, nominate Independent men who will. We 
do not propose a new party. We have nothing 
to do with national politics. But we do mean 
to build up our State and our people. We are 
tired of humbug and insincerity/' 

We sent a copy to every newspaper in the State, 
and to every man who we thought might help us. 
We sent speakers to as many county-seats as we 
could, to stir up the people to send delegates to 
the convention. 

" Since we wouldn't take 'em in," said Colonel 
Stringweather, "the boys will be a ten-cent side- 
show to the Radical Republicans. They are 
welcome to all they can get out of the combination." 

But Major Thorne thought it worth while to 
discuss the Address seriously in The Globe, as well 
as to ridicule it: 

"They demand more schools, they say. We 
have spent millions on schools such a record, 
in proportion to our wealth, as few countries can 
show." (This lie had been repeated till it was 
believed.) 

"They demand schools for teaching agriculture 
and the trades. Any boy can now learn to farm - 
by farming; or to be a carpenter by going to 
work with a carpenter. The real gist of this demand 
comes out in the Negro clause. The whole plan 



THE REVOLT 229 

is to educate the Negro into competition with the 
white man or rather to catch the Negro vote. 
For, whenever the Negro is educated into com- 
petition with the white man, we shall have a 
race war. 

"The Party of Seven insults our able educational 
authorities. It does worse than insult the old 
soldier it heaps abuse upon him. The day 
will never come in this State when the public 
will approve of abuse of the men who offered their 
lives in a war of defence. 

"It reviles even Christian education, by opposing 
the Democratic candidate, who distinctly and pecu- 
liarly stands for the use of the Bible and the teach- 
ing of piety to the poor in the common schools. 
The good people of the State will never sanc- 
tion a godless education." 

There was no more danger to the supremacy 
of the white race than to the supremacy of the sun 
over the moon; and nobody supposed that there 
was any such danger. But, if you praise a man 
who is worthless for some quality that seems to 
put him in the company of good men seems 
to give him a standing that he had before lacked 
-you please him beyond calculation. When it 
is made a political distinction to be a white 
man, that white man who is most in need of 
distinction responds with the greatest readiness. 
There was, therefore, political shrewdness in 



2 3 o THE SOUTHERNER 

emphasizing this obvious proposition as if it 
were a new discovery. 

There was at once a heavy handicap on the 
new movement; for it was "irregular." Every 
man who hoped for political preferment at any 
time in the future hesitated to ally himself with 
any irregular party or plan. Orthodoxy in politics 
was even stronger than in the church. 

To the gratification and even to the surprise 
of the "Seven Foolish Virgins," as the orators 
had begun to call us, four good men were found 
who could go forth to persuade the people to 
send delegates to our convention. I went, too; 
and the hot four weeks of midsummer I gave to 
this work. In twenty days I made speeches at 
twenty-five places. 

One of these was at the mountain court-house 
of Funnel Rock. Caldwell was spending his 
summer there, making surveys for mountain 
roads. He had built him a bungalow, and what 
prospects he was making accessible! 

When I arose to speak at the small meeting in 
the court-house, I saw Louise sitting with her 
brother. They had come in just as the meeting 
was beginning. There were not more than forty 
men present half of them, perhaps, residents, 
the other half summer visitors. There were a 
dozen curious boys and no women but Louise. 
Women then did not go to the political meetings. 



THE REVOLT 231 

My speech was an elaboration of the Address 
to the People. At intervals Caldwell applauded, 
and the crowd tamely followed his example. 
But it was a stolid audience. They did not 
seem clearly to understand even as simple a prop- 
osition as I made. Individually, perhaps, they 
could have understood it, but they seemed incap- 
able of a collective understanding. 

They had so long associated all political action 
with the formulas and the machinery of the two 
regular parties that a suggestion of independent 
political action dazed them. They regarded it 
as a suggestion of some sort of revolution an 
irregular proceeding that must be long discussed 
and pondered over. Captain Bob Logan once 
said that our people would rather be damned 
"regular" than saved as "independents." They 
would not act then; but, when the meeting had 
adjourned, one man said that he thought a dele- 
gate could be found who would go, if his fare were 
paid. Nobody in the county could afford to go 
to Marlborough at his own expense on this sort of 
business. 

Caldwell congratulated me with gusto. "It 
it glorious. It is a righteous crusade. We 
may not win this time nor the next, but we 
shall win!" 

I spent the night with the Caldwells, and 
Louise and I rode the next morning to the great 



232 THE SOUTHERNER 

cliff to see the sun rise. It was a perfect atmos- 
phere so perfect that merely to exist in it gave 
a thrill. As we approached the Rock from which 
the whole world seemed spread out below us, 
her horse sniffed the clear air. It was a beautiful 
creature, fit for so good a rider; for her motion 
was a swift grace of Nature. Her riding skirt 
draped her form, quivering in the wind; strands 
of her hair flew across her face as she turned to 
look back at me; and a soft gray hat sat well 
on her. 

"Hurry," she said, "the gleam is spreading"; 
and she galloped across the level mountain-top to 
the very edge of the precipice. Far eastward the 
valley stretched to the next range, which was lower 
than our plateau. From peak to peak shone 
streaks of light with great crimson spaces between; 
and the shadow of the mountains receded down 
the valley. 

She sat erect, gazing silently; and I saw her 
clear-cut profile against the brilliant banks of 
sunrise. Her chin was firm, her forehead high, her 
hair made blacker by the light gray of her hat. 
She breathed quickly, her erect form rising and 
sinking with deep inhalations, her cheeks as ruddy 
as the light on the mountain. Her hand hung 
gracefully at full length, and her superb neck- 
I think I had not before noticed its graceful poise. 
As she sat silently there for a moment, I forgot 



THE REVOLT 233 

the sunrise gazing at her, as at the centrepiece 
of the great spectacle. 

There was no suggestion of softness about her, 
not even of rest, but only of graceful action 
health with the joy of motion. Repose ? Vision 
rather, and rapture, more like the wind than like 
the rose fitted to high altitudes, moved by 
quick pulse-beats, herself a superb piece of high 
nature. 

"So will the great movement light the valley of 
the people," she cried; "for the morning is 
coming." 

We sat our horses a little while and watched the 
growing area of colour and its spread in the valley; 
and then we rode back as from a baptism of 
splendour. 

At breakfast, she sat in a soft gown, but almost 
masculine in her energy, and all the talk turned 
quickly on the campaign. 

"I have made up my mind," she said; "I did 
that last night. I am going into the campaign. 
If I may not speak, I can at least write. I shall 
write letters to all the men I know and to many 
women whom I do not know; I shall write for the 
newspapers. Here's a cause at last worth work- 
ing for with all one's might and all one's 
enthusiasm. 

'This is a crusade; and I, who was born to 
fight, have for the first time found something to 



234 THE SOUTHERNER 

fight for. We must win"; and she stood up wav- 
ing the sugar tongs at her audience of two. As 
she sat down she added in a lower tone: "Forgive 
me, gentlemen, I am but your housewife for the 
moment; but I dedicate myself to this emancipa- 
tion. Now, what may I do for it?" And she 
turned to me as if she expected me to put on her 
the warrior garments of Joan of Arc. 

Well, the day of the little convention came. 
We tried to have it called the Educational Con- 
vention, but the wags among our enemies got 
the better of us. We were referred to as the 
"Seven Foolish Virgins." 

But ridicule was less difficult to meet than the 
dumb wonder of a large part of the people. Many 
of them feared that we might have lost our minds. 
More schools ? In heaven's name, if we had 
enough of anything, surely we had enough schools. 
School-teachers couldn't make a decent living now, 
there were so many of them. And higher taxes ? 
No sane man could surely seriously propose rais- 
ing taxes and expect the people's approval. Let 
men who were so eager to educate their children 
pay for it themselves. This inertia was worse 
than opposition. 

Nevertheless the convention met. It was 
neither a noisy nor a large crowd. A few of the 
most earnest and one or two of the most eminent 



THE REVOLT 235 

men in the State came, and among the delegates 
- who were all practically self-appointed (for 
they represented no organized body of men) - 
were agitators for the farmers' organizations. 
Of course, most of the discontented and unsuc- 
cessful "orators" of unpopular "causes" came. 

The "Seven Virgins" had a platform and "a 
slate" prepared. Professor Caldwell, of the Uni- 
versity, presided; the usual routine of conven- 
tions was followed; the platform was adopted, 
after ineffectual efforts of several economic reform- 
ers to engraft a demand for free cotton-warehouses 
and loans of Government money, and such like; 
and then the question arose who should be 
nominated for Superintendent of Schools. 

The Club had discussed this for a month. 
Professor Billy was far-and-away the best man. 
As Caldwell once said of him, he could put the 
wisdom of the ages into a barnyard story which 
any rustic could understand and on which no 
philosopher could make an improvement. But 
he insisted that he could do more good in the ranks. 

The decision reached by the Club at last was 
that I should be nominated. I shrank from it, 
as I thought of thus becoming a public agitator, 
for the influence of a public agitator is short, very 
short. Doubtless the chance for me ever to 
build up an influence of any sort would pass if I 
should be defeated. I should be in politics an 



236 THE SOUTHERNER 

"irregular," which meant political death; in 
education, I should be a "crank" -a fanatic, 
the Globe had already called me. 

But this cause was eternally right. If I had 
any courage, now was the chance to show it. For 
once the hesitancy about method and about occa- 
sion, which has ever been my weakness, was 
overcome. 

"Yes," said I, "put my name up, if you think 
best." 

My name was presented. So was the name 
of some other unknown man; and the convention 
took a recess. 

When the ballot was taken, I was nominated. 

The cause was a high cause. It was right. 
It was fair. It was honest. It meant going for- 
ward -- throwing off the rule of the dead no 
matter what fate awaited any individual who took 
part in it. Now, at last, I could at least try to 
serve my country. 

"With all my heart I congratulate you and the 
State," Louise telegraphed me as soon as she had 
heard of my nomination. "Fight it out. We are 
sure to win, for we believe in the people." 

The next day Captain Bob Logan came to see 
me. He was excited, eloquent, and profane - 
in a mood of exaltation. 

"The lowgrounds are gettin' broke up," he said. 
"The kingdom is at hand, Worth. I'm going to 



THE REVOLT 237 

be the next Governor of this grand old Common- 
wealth as sure as there is a God in heaven. We've 
got 'em on the run --the whole drove; and you 
kid-glove academic fellers have scared the life out 
of 'em. The combination of hayseed and school- 
books unsettles the old donkey's stomach. 

"Now, I've come to see that you win. There's 
only one way to do it. Runnin' on a side-track 
you'll get nowhere. But you fellers have stirred 
up the country folks. Our crowd has 'em stirred 
up a good deal more. We're going' to make 
a combine. The Populists mean business. They 
want their warehouses as the niggers wanted forty 
acres and a mule. I'm willin' they should get 'em 
get anything if they'll make me Governor 
and give me a chance to down that old gang. 

"We've come to an agreement. The regular 
Republicans are to have the Governor, and the 
Populists the rest of the offices. That's our slate. 
We've fought it all out, and we'll put through the 
deal. 

"Now old Craybill was put up by String- 
weather's gang to get the Baptist vote. He'll 
get it, too. We've got to go for the Methodists. 
We'll make you out a hell-of-a-Methodist before 
the campaign's over; and I propose that our con- 
vention endorse your nomination. I think I can 
put that through, only you must play the game." 

"What is the game?" 



238 THE SOUTHERNER 

"You must run on the main line, not on a side- 
track. 5 ' 

" But we're not mixed up in the party fight." 

"The hell you're not! You straddled the 
nigger-vote business; you are Mr. Facin'-both- 
ways; you can jump on either side of the fence that 
has the softer place to light on. But you can't 
straddle and win." 

Captain Bob was not only ambitious to become 
Governor, but his rebellious spirit sought revenge 
on the crowd that had long insulted him. 

It was hard to make him understand our sin- 
cerity. His conception of politics excluded sin- 
cerity, although it did not exclude energy and 
desperation. 

The Republican Convention the next week 
carried out his programme. He was nominated 
for Governor; the other nominees were all Popu- 
lists except me for they "endorsed" the nominee 
of the "Educational Convention." 

I did not formally accept that endorsement. 
I remained a wholly independent candidate for 
an office that had nothing to do with political 
party doctrine. I stood for a clear-cut plan of 
building up our people and I should be glad to 
receive the votes of men of any party. Never- 
theless I was regarded as the candidate of the 
"Scrubs" and of the Republicans. 

I had put myself outside good political society 



THE REVOLT 239 

and the Colonels and the Daughters were con- 
firmed in their opinion that I was a "traitor to 
our people." My political conduct, they said, 
justified my dismissal from the Edinboro schools. 
I had, of course, resigned my professorship. I 
had thrown away all my chances in the future, 
academic or political, many of my friends said. 

My brother's comment was: "You will start 
a great movement that will succeed a long time 
hence; but you will be beaten." 

When I tried to explain the whole situation to 
Margaret, I felt that I made little headway. 
Her manner and her tone were "cousinly," but 
she could not understand how any good could 
possibly be done by acting as "a traitor." She 
seemed to hold fast to the conviction that I would 
see the crime I was committing and throw up the 
nomination. 

"You will not really desert us, will you, cousin ? " 



CHAPTER XIX 

A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 

IN A little while the usual grand Democratic 
ratification meeting was held at the capital. 
As I walked to the hall I vowed that we should 
have a campaign without bitterness, if I could 
make it so on my side a purely educational 
campaign. I should direct it wholly to the 
building of up the schools, and I should not be 
diverted to any merely partisan discussion. The 
campaign, whether we won or lost, should be 
worthy of our high aims. 

When I came into the hall, Senator Barker 
was speaking. I had never seen him so wrought 
up. "We are about to be engulfed in a flood 
of African despotism," he said. "Our liberties 
are in peril; our very blood will be polluted; dark 
night will close over us us degenerate sons 
of glorious sires if we do not rise in righteous 
might and stem this flood of barbaric darkness." 

I saw how race hatred was to be made the 
staple of the campaign. All the speakers who 
followed him took his inflammatory cue. A 
state of society was pictured which every man 

240 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 241 

who heard it knew, when he was in his senses, 
to be a horrid lie. Yet for the moment they 
believed it. For men are easily frightened if 
you lead them to the edge of this dark and 
unfathomable abyss this difference of race. 
Look into it and you cannot say surely what 
you see. What may the future contain? A 
race that is only a few generations from savagery 
is the savage extinct ? Can you be sure of 
that ? Men's fears rise as children's in the 
dark. It is not what they know that frightens 
them. It is what they do not know. 

The plain fact was, of course (as every man 
would have acknowledged six months before), 
that the Negro did not threaten the white man. 
Life was going as peacefully as at any time in 
the history of the State. The Negroes did not 
take a very active part in politics; and, when 
they had, they had been defeated by fair means 
or foul; and they had lost interest in this form 
of activity. So, in truth, had many of the whites, 
too; for politics had become a small section 
of life. We had begun to have larger tasks 
in hand. But the cry was now raised that some- 
thing must be done unless Anglo-Saxon civiliza- 
tion was to be abandoned and our homes ruined. 
The Negro was a savage, a brute, a constant 
menace. Educate him ? Then you only make 
him more cunning for evil. He must be put down. 



242 THE SOUTHERNER 

The newspapers and the whole community 
took the cue. Men whose faithful Negro ser- 
vants had shined their shoes in the morning 
and cooked their breakfasts and dressed their 
children and groomed their horses, and had 
driven them to their offices and were constant 
attendants on their families such men spent 
the day declaring the imminent danger of Negro 
"equality" and "domination." "We must put 
them out of politics once and forever." This 
was an election that must be won. The governor- 
ship and a senatorship were at stake. 

During the early days of the campaign, my 
audiences were Negroes. I was regarded by 
them as the nominee of their party; and the 
Democratic leaders had sent out instructions 
to discourage the whites from hearing me. "Let 
him train with Radicals and niggers that's 
where he belongs." 

I was waited upon by Negro delegations and 
asked what I proposed to do "for the race." 

Now I had no false sentiment about the Negro. 
I am sure of that. It seemed to me that the 
"problem" was far less difficult than it had 
been represented. Here was a mass of ignorant 
folk. Their unwilling coming was the cause 
of all our woes. It was the one structural error 
made by the Fathers when they built the wide 
arches of our freedom. But our duty seemed 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 243 

to me plain. They are here. They must be 
trained to usefulness. I made this speech to 
them: 

"Men, I come to tell you the truth. The 
white man and the Negro live here together. 
They will always live here together. The way 
to live together in peace and to help one another 
is plain. 

"First, we must get rid of certain false notions 
and certain lies, and certain bad practices. We 
must be honest with one another, as I am now 
honest with you. 

"I tell you these truths, then. The white 
man is not going to have what is called 'social 
equality 5 with the Negro. The white man is 
not going to eat with the Negro; the white man 
is not going to invite the Negro into his parlour; 
the white man is not going to marry the Negro 
woman. The two races must live socially apart, 
yet side by side, and they must work together. 

"And the white man has got to treat the Negro 
fairly. He's got to treat him as a free man, 
not as a slave. He's got to pay him fairly. He's 
got to give him a chance to work, to buy land, 
to build a home, to raise his children decently. 

'The white man has got to do more than 
this. He has got to train the Negro. He's 
got to give him good schools. The Negro must 
help pay for this. But he's got to have good 



244 THE SOUTHERNER 

schools as good as there are in the world 
schools that will teach his children to work, 
and show them how to work, that will train 
them to make honest livings and to lead decent 
lives, and to be good citizens schools to teach 
the children not only to read but to use tools 
and to farm right. There must be schools 
for the best boys and girls when they get older, 
where they can learn to build houses and to 
make furniture and harness, to make butter, to 
plant cotton right, and to make twice as much 
corn as they now make, to raise chickens and 
sheep (these are better than dogs) and the 
girls to sew, to keep clean houses, to cook good 
food. Everyone who has any brains must know 
how to make his living. 

"The Negro has got to have his fair share of 
school money to make his schools as good as pos- 
sible, and to keep them open as long as possible." 

("Dat ain't so, now, boss.") 

"I know it isn't so. But it's got to be so. 
We have got to quit lying to one another. 

"And there is one other thing that I tell you 
men: The white men have got to let your women 
alone; and you have got to bring up your daughters 
virtuously. And you've got to let your own 
women alone let them grow up to be clean 
and honest wives." 

("Dat's sho'ly God's truth.") 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 245 

"If we can do all these things, we shall live 
together peacefully and as happily as men live 
together anywhere." 

("Dat gits my vote.") 

"You may vote for me or not, as you please. 
If I am elected Superintendent of Schools, I 
shall try my best to do what I have said ought 
to be done. At best it can be done slowly. Even 
the white man is yet untrained. Both races 
must have such schools as I have described." 

(" What about de offices?") 

"Nothing. No man ought to have any office 
that he can't fill well, and no man who can't 
earn a good living at his own business ought 
to have any office. Running for office has ruined 
many a white man. It would be still surer 
to ruin a Negro. You know very well that 
the white men of either party are going to give 
Negroes very few offices, if any. They lie to 
you about this. If I am elected, I shall have 
many offices to fill, the best offices there are; 
and I shall wish to fill them well. If I can get 
money enough, I shall want a thousand of the 
best Negroes in the State the very best 
to fill these offices." 

("Now, yer talkin'.") 

:< These offices are school-teachers honest 
men and women who will teach your children 
not only to read and to write, but to grow up to 



246 THE SOUTHERNER 

be good and decent men and women. Am 
I talkin' now ? " 

("Yes, boss dat's it.") 

("Which party does yer b'long to, boss 
'Publican?'") 

"The party that believes in making good 
and decent and honest men and women of your 
children the party that tells you no lies. You 
would be better off if you had never heard of 
the Republican or of the Democratic party. 
My party is the School-House party a school- 
house within the reach of every child, white 
or black, a school-house where no lies are taught. 
That is my party." 

After several weeks of public speaking, to 
audiences made up chiefly of Negroes, I came 
home to sleep. I was tired in body and mind. 
But I could not rest. The impossibility of the 
task why, many men who held my faith 
and had talked with me freely a month ago about 
building up the people would not now even go 
and hear me speak, so strong was the old 
party tyranny. There seemed no way to reach 
the people. 

The whole commonwealth lay neglected, its 
people's development arrested. Other parts of 
the Union were becoming prosperous; men else- 
where were growing in riches, in intelligence, 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 247 

in freedom. Here was stagnation. Thought and 
well-being moved forward hardly an inch. And 
yet I, for trying to move them, was accused 
of treason! Most of the well-to-do had now 
become my open opponents. They were per- 
suaded, or they pretended to be persuaded, 
that I stood for a sort of anarchy. They were 
ruled by dead men's hands. My instruments 
must be the humbler, the ignorant, perhaps 
only the Negroes. Nor did they understand. 
They knew only that I stood for revolt. Our 
constructive purpose they could not see. 

One night, thinking of this bondage of men's 
opinions, I walked to and fro in the old avenue 
of elms, in the yard. The early autumnal air 
was refreshing. The gentle wind shook the 
leaves down the long row of trees and the moonlight 
flickered on the walk. 

"If men were free! " I said to myself. 

The odour of ripe fruit came from the orchard. 
Silence everywhere. It was a beautiful world; 
bountiful the earth; pleasant the night air - 
"if only men were free, what land so desirable 
to live in!" 

To-morrow I should continue the campaign. 
The "issues" of the contest the political prin- 
ciples they were as nothing. The hollowness 
of the political phrases irritated me. They were 
all mere formulas. Men said them as monks 



248 THE SOUTHERNER 

count their beads, mere incantations, meaningless 
words, rallying cries. 

I never saw more clearly than at that moment 
the profound meaning of our action its 
necessity, its positively holy nature. 

" There is no other way out." 

Up and down I strode, muttering a sentence 
now and then to myself now walking rapidly, 
then recovering my self-consciousness and slack- 
ening my pace. 

I heard someone come through the gate - 
there were a number of men more and more. 
They came with hardly a sound. My impulse 
was to sit on a seat behind the shrubbery 
and let them pass, so that I might hear 
them and see who they were. "Cowardly," I 
said, and checked myself. I walked out to the 
middle of the drive-way and faced them with a 
"Good-evening, gentlemen. Were you coming to 
see me?" 

Then I saw that it was a group of Negroes. 
Joe Goode was the leader. 

"Yes, suh," said Joe, "we'se come ter confer 
wid you, suh, 'bout a promus what was made, if 
we'se in de order for a confearance." 

"Well, what is it, Joe?" 

"Yes, suh, we 'lowed how as you might be 
if you was dissuaded by de plaus'bleness 
of some what does not know de 'pinions of de 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 249 

leaders, suh. It is 'bout dat 'ar promus' ter 
de Bishop of de Mefodis'." 

"What promise?" 

"'Bout dat ar school 'p'intment. Dey said 
dat you was ter giv' dat ter Bishop Wood. 
Maybe 'tain't fer us to say; but dere's a heap 
mo' Baptistes 'mong de colo'd folks dan dey 
is Mefidises. Yes, suh, 'twas dis wot we done 
come ter 'spress a 'monstrance." 

"Who said that I had promised any office 
to anybody ? " 

A Negro far back in the group spoke up: 
"Dat's what I ax de brudder 'Who says so?' 
I says. "Spose dere's nothin' in it. Den we 
done made fools er ourse'v's.' Didn't I say 
dat, men, when we come along ? ' : 
'You sho'ly did," said another. 

" Let me give you men a piece of advice. When / 
say something about an office, and you hear me say 
it, then it will be time enough to talk about it. Don't 
let your people believe every silly thing they hear." 

Then the whole company laughed at Joe. 

"Done mak' a fool er yerse'f and o' us, too. 
De boss he ain't got no offices. Didn't I 
tell you dat ? " 

"Well, so long Mr. Worth. We'se wid you 
ennyhow all 'cept dis fool Joe, an' he ain't 
got sense enough to be wid nobody." And 
they went away muttering at Joe. 



250 THE SOUTHERNER 

"O God, if we would be frank, we should 
become free/' 

And the odorous, cool night enfolded me. I 
walked back to the house and poor duped devils 
- 1 fell asleep, to the sound of the river which 
turned the spindles and the looms; and it was 
pleasant to think that unnumbered millions of 
persons would be clad by the fleece of our fields, 
unintelligently as they were tilled. 

The next morning I saw the humour as well 
as the pathos of it, and I wrote to Louise Caldwell 
a note about my political callers of the night: 
"What an exhilarating intellectual level the 
campaign takes! How it calls for one's pro- 
foundest thought! What exercise of the highest 
faculties!" 

Well, why not make it appeal to the highest 
character ? 

And when I began making speeches again 
more and more white men came to hear me; 
and I did speak to them straight, as God is my 
witness. I said: 

" White men, let us get rid of all lies and face 
the truth. That is the mark of brave men. 

"And, since no other subject can be discussed 
than the Negro, what is the truth about the 
Negro ? 

"The framers of our Government did not, 
in the beginning, make slavery impossible. That 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 251 

was their monumental error, and we yet - 
even we --pay the penalty. 

"The Negro was brought here. He will stay 
here. We must make the most of him. He 
is a burden and a menace unless he is trained. 
So, too, is the white man. But the Negro is a 
child in civilization. Let us train him. That 
is our economic duty, our economic necessity. 
Let us teach him how to do productive work, 
teach him to be a help, to support himself, to 
do useful things, to be a man, to build up his 
family life. Let his women alone. Help him. 
He is docile, grateful, teachable. He is a man. 
Our civilization menaced by the Negro ? That's 
a lie, and you know it. The only way in which 
the Negro can be a menace to our civilization 
is by his ignorance. The State must train him. 
We must have schools to teach every Negro 
child to work that's what a school's for. And 
we must have schools to train every white child 
to work, too." 

And they cheered. The country folk saw 
the truth of this; and, when I described a school 
that taught everybody in the neighbourhood, they 
wanted such a school. 

That programme would at last surely win. 
Else there was no hope in right reason, nor in 
the sanity of the plain people, nor in universal 
manhood suffrage. 



252 THE SOUTHERNER 

But patience, sweet Heaven, infinite is the 
patience called for. For we were yet "apart/ 
oratorical, emotional, "peculiar," in spite of 
the distance that separated us from slavery and 
the war. Patience is the word, a long, long 
patience. Changes have come and are coming. 
The people will rise; our lands will become richer; 
our vision wider; our temper more tolerant. 
The South is not a "problem." It is a social 
and industrial condition. You cannot solve a 
condition. You can only gradually improve it. 
And no social condition is either as bad or as 
good as any one man or class of men may guess 
by the small section of it that they see. Great 
results are visible only generation by generation. 

So that I at times felt most hopeless and at 
other times most hopeful. I could not get away 
from my love of the land and of the people. 
Those that work only for themselves seem to 
miss the larger inspiration of our democracy; 
and I did get certainly I got at times the 
triumphant sense of trying a hard task, hard 
enough to be worthy of the most heroic ambition. 
And so I went on betwixt high hope and heavy 
weariness, as I dare say earnest men have gone 
on since human society began. 

And week by week more and more the white 
country people came to hear me; and the enemy 
became alarmed. Training all the children in 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 253 

good schools was a popular proposal, as soon 
as they understood it. 

The people's thought, then, must be kept 
from this proposal by the wheel-horse colonels, 
or they would surely lose the election. The 
Democratic press and the Democratic speakers, 
therefore, let loose a flood of personal abuse. 
"The nigger Professor" they called me, "with a 
plan to educate the blacks and to put them above 
the whites"; "to put the bottom rail on top"; "to 
subvert Anglo-Saxon civilization." One caricature 
represented me teaching history to a class of Negro 
boys. It was labelled, " What our University would 
Become." Another represented me as building 
a fence. I had put down as the bottom rail 
a white man a one-armed Confederate veteran 
- and the top rail was a grinning Negro. Ever 
since I had attended Harvard College, I had 
been "tainted" with a wrong view of the Negro. 
One paper published this inquiry addressed to 
me "in sorrowful emphasis" : "Would you 
marry your daughter to a nigger?" And it 
added: "Until the gentleman answers that test 
question, we need not pay more attention to 
what he says." 

The hard-pressed political machine was willing 
to loose even volcanic fires if it could thereby 
save itself. The menace of the Negro must 
ever be kept in sight. Men who had seemed 



254 THE SOUTHERNER 

hitherto to be commonplace lawyers without 
clients, editors of newspapers that did not yield 
a profit, hangers-on to legitimate industry, who 
had not been burdened with convictions, suddenly 
assured us that they were civilization's most 
zealous guardians; and they came forth with 
social and political convictions for which they 
would stand to the death! 

A large part of the Southern people were thus 
persuaded that the Negro must be kept to a 
level reminiscent of slavery, forgetting that on 
this level he can be only a burden. Thus they 
held down all the people in economic ways. 
Nor was this the worst result they hindered 
the free play of thought. 

Even the young were fired with this mania. 
It became a part of the general notion, a kind 
of creed, that the Negro was likely to efface 
the white man, if he were not repressed. Men 
wrote about it in the newspapers; preachers 
preached about it; young women chose it as 
the subject of their essays. Sensational novels 
appeared describing the crimes and social aspir- 
ations of the Negro, and they became popular; 
a code of personal conduct toward the Negro was 
set up even for Northern men to which they must 
conform. And so the hot battle raged; and one 
day there appeared this inquiry in The White Man 
in the form of a letter from a distant town: 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 255 

"To the Editor of The White Man: There is a 
rumour here that one of the nigger-loving candi- 
dates for high office has put into practice already 
his social equality creed. Give us the facts." 

The Editor published the note under this 
headline: 

"TO WHOM DOES THIS REFER?" 

The letter and the headline were copied the 
next day in the Globe and were re-published 
without comment for three or four successive days. 

Then an editorial appeared in the Globe saying 
that the inquiry ought to be followed further. 
That was all. 

But by this time all the Democratic papers 
in the State had published paragraphs about 
it, and gossip had been very active. Almost 
every man in the State now knew the story which 
had been set going by word of mouth from 
the Democratic headquarters. 

Colonel Stringweather had said this in his 
drawling way to his fellows: 

"Gentle-ra<?ra: We've got to look after this 
young Worth Niggerlass Worth. Old Cray- 
bill, whom we are running against him, is more'n 
half fool an* he ain't holdin' up his en' o' the 
campaign. Reckon it's about time we were 
fixin' young Niggerlass." 

"What can we do?" they asked. 



256 THE SOUTHERNER 

"I haven't spent much thought on it," said 
the Colonel. "But I'll throw out an idea and 
see if you catch it. 

"His grandfather's old place, you know, is 
just out of town here a few miles. Now they 
tell me that there's a mighty likely yaller woman 
there who has a still yallerer baby; and young 
Niggerlass has been known to spend the night 
there -- the night there in the house with niggers, 
mind you. An', if you want to work up the 
public feelin' a little more, you can get some 
tassels to the story. My authority for this story 
is Pompey, the barber. Pompey says that this 
is what the niggers in Egypt say." 

"Oh, Colonel," protested a member of the 
committee, "I don't think we want to bring 
the campaign down to this level. Do spare 
us this." 

"And get beat?" replied the Colonel. "What 
are we here for, to conduct a ladylike campaign 
or to win ? " 

The committee discouraged it. But the 
Colonel became more and more alarmed; and 
mysterious letters of inquiry about the candi- 
date who had the habit of spending nights 
in Negro houses appeared more often in the 
newspapers. 

At last the Colonel gave the word. He had 
a long conference with Major Thorne, the 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 257 

editor of The Globe. The story was to be 
written as hearsay. I was not to be directly 
accused, but I was to be called on to explain 
the rumour. 

The editor and the Colonel worked on the 
story for a day or two, and at last they had it 
in proof-sheets to their satisfaction. "It'll put 
all the women ag'inst him, God bless 'em," 
said the Colonel; "and no man can win in the 
State with that handicap." 

Proof-sheets of the broadside were to be sub- 
mitted to the committee, and one of them, of 
course, was Tom Warren. It reached him two 
days before the day set for publication. He 
was a day's journey from the capital, making 
campaign speeches. The mail came just before 
he was going up to bed. The boy at the hotel 
handed him the envelope. He opened it and 
retired to his room. 

"Send no names up to me to-night," he said 
to the clerk. "I am going at once to bed." 
Tom sat a while with this proof-sheet on the 
table before him. 

"My God! Shall I never get rid of it? Will 
it follow me through all eternity ? " 

A scene came up in his memory that had 
often haunted him, but it had never before risen 
with such distinctness. The vision he saw was 
this through the haze of memory: 



258 THE SOUTHERNER 

He was shooting rabbits at the Old Place 
and he had left the fields and was wandering 
alone back toward the house through a stretch 
of woodland. He had come to a path and he 
sat on a log for a moment idly holding his gun. 
A stream at the foot of the hill kept up a soothing 
murmur as it fell over the stones. Now and 
then a bird flitted through the branches. Once 
he thought he saw a squirrel. And now he 
was sure he heard a noise behind him; and 
when he turned he saw a girl in the path. 

"You scair'd me mos' ter death/ 5 she said. 
"Don' shoot; 'taint nobody but me Lissa. 
I'se jes' gwine over to Aunt 'Cindy's to tell her 
Miss Stone wants her to do some washin' ter- 
morrow. Don' shoot me 'tain't nobody but 
me. I am jus' gwine thro'. It's nearer dan 
roun' de road. I ain't no rabbit." 

"Come along, I won't shoot." 

"When I fust seed you, I run back a little. 
Den I says to myself, 'It's jes' one er dem 
young men what shoots rabbits f'um de ol' Worth 
place'; and I comes 'long back ag'in, sayin' to 
myse'f, ' He ain't gwine to shoot you go 'long.' 
He! he! hee!" 

"Well, come along, then." 

"Yes, I'se gwine," and she drew nearer, with 
a grin; "but dere ain't no need to run, fer de 
washin' ain't got to be done till ter-morrow." 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 259 

There was a saucy smile on her face, as if 
she had caught him half-ashamed, resting while 
he pretended to hunt. 

"Is yer by yourself?" 

She was now near him. She put her foot on 
the end of the log on which he sat. "Is dat 
gun loaded ? " 

She was a wild thing of Nature, supple, grace- 
ful, with loose-swinging garments, and a soft 
light lemon complexion. "Lemme see if dat 
gun is loaded?" 

"What did you say?" 

She was now standing by him. His quick 
pulse answered the wild nature in this primitive, 
soft creature. The rush of blood gave him 
the sensation of worlds whirling about him, and 
his tongue was dry as in a fever. He arose and 
touched her shoulder. It seemed softer than silk 
under the coarse garment. They were two young 
creatures in a wood, and it seemed a thousand years 
ago when worlds whirled through his hot brain. 

Such was the memory that Tom Warren saw, 
with stinging vividness; and he hit the table 
with his fist and said aloud: 

"I will not profit by such a lie. I will not 
be a party to such a lie! By God! I will not." 

A man in the next room of the hotel said to 
his companion: 



26o THE SOUTHERNER 

"The candidate for Governor seems to be 
giv'n' it to 'em in his sleep." 

"To appear Friday," Tom read across the 
top of the proof-sheet. "This is Wednesday night. 
It shall not appear Friday nor any other day." 

He rushed out the door and asked the night 
clerk of the hotel if he could arouse the telegraph 
operator; for the office in the little town was 
closed early. 

At the telegraph office he sent this message 
to Major Thome: 

" Proof-sheet received. I know the whole story 
to be false. I forbid its publication. I will 
not. conduct a campaign on such a level. If the 
article is published I shall resign the nomination. 
I shall take the morning train for Maryborough." 

"Lacks grit in his craw," said Colonel String- 
weather when Major Thorne showed him this 
telegram the next day. "We can't win cam- 
paigns on squeamish platforms in ticklish times 
like these. That's what we get for putting up 
a sentimental young fellow for Governor no 
stomach. Will resign, eh ? I guess we'll see 
about that. Of course, Major, you're going 
to publish it, as we agreed ? " 

"I've no doubt we'll publish it, Colonel, but 
little will be lost if we postpone it a day; and 
we ought to hear what he has to say. He has 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 261 

thrown up engagements to come here, and he 
will arrive to-night. Be at my office at nine 
o'clock. We'll hear what he has to say. No 
doubt we'll put it to press on schedule time." 

Tom went straight from the train to Major 
Thome's office. There, as he expected, the 
Colonel and the Major were waiting for him. 
* You received my telegram, of course ? " 

"We did, sir," said the Colonel, "with some 
amazement and, I may add, some amusement." 

"You understand that I forbid the publication 
of the article." 

"By what authority, sir? a " 

"Have I not at least some authority in this 
campaign ? Am I to play the part of a dummy ? 
I am afraid you chose the wrong man." 

"I fear we did," growled the Colonel, "for 
we need a candidate that has some sand in his 
craw. This article will win the election. It 
will instantly put every woman and practically 
every white man in the state on our side. It 
draws the colour-line sharp." 

"But it's a lie." 

"Who says it's a lie ?" roared Major Thorne. 

"I say so." 

"What do you know about the case?" 

"I know it's a lie. I know that Worth is 
not the father of that child." 

"Damn the facts," roared old Stringweather. 



262 THE SOUTHERNER 

" Every young fellow is likely to get into such 
a scrape. I don't bear young Worth any malice 
whatever in the matter. We simply mean to 
show him that he can't go about and preach 
his 'poor nigger' doctrine in this country. The 
article doesn't say that the child is his it's 
only an inference. If he's innocent, he can 
defend himself. It simply shows that he loves 
niggers in general spends his nights with 'em. 
He preaches social equality: we'll give him 
a dose of his doctrine that's all." 

"Colonel Stringweather," said Tom, rising and 
declaiming at him, "you have heard what I have 
said. I have known Nicholas Worth since he 
was a boy. He has his fantastic doctrines. He's 
gone wild about education. He's suffered Northern 
influences to warp him. But he fights fair. He 
is a gentleman, and I am a gentleman; and no 
gentleman will take such an advantage as this of 
another. I would not have an election won in 
this way. 

"My understanding is that I am the Democratic 
nominee for Governor. I am not a scandal- 
monger. I will not profit by such a campaign. 
That is my ultimatum." 

Colonel Stringweather and Major Thorne went 
out of the room. When they came back, the 
Colonel said, in a tone of authority: 

"Warren, we respect your delicate feelings 



A GENTLEMAN FIGHTS FAIR 263 

toward the enemy. They do your heart credit. 
You are sentimental and youthful, and that is not 
the way to win campaigns. We have the respon- 
sibility of conducting this, not for personal 
pleasure, but to win. Major Thorne will publish 
the article as intended. We have decided, with 
all respect to you, that we cannot be responsible 
for losing the election for any such squeamish 
reasons. You will soon see the matter as we 
see it, when you have had time to confer with 
your friends and when you see the effect that 
the article will have. I do not think we need 
say more/' 

"I have an addendum, then, which also you 
will publish," said Tom. "I will write it in 
a moment." 

Presently he handed this to the editor: 

"I disapprove of this article for two reasons: 
(i) It is an ungentlemanly way to fight a man, 
who, whatever his faults or doctrines, is a gentle- 
man. (2) I am myself the father of the child 
spoken of in the article. I had rather publicly 
confess an error of youth than to do another 
man injustice. 

"I, therefore, hereby resign the nomination 
of the Democratic Convention for Governor, 
and leave the Executive Committee free to choose 
another candidate. 

"THOMAS CARTER WARREN." 



264 THE SOUTHERNER 

"I ask you to publish that with the article. 
If you decline, I shall give it publicity elsewhere 
at once. I need not say more. Good night, 
gentlemen." 

"Major, we'll lose this election/' said Colonel 
Stringweather, and he put on his hat and went 
away. 



CHAPTER XX 

STORM AND HUSH AND THE AWAKENING 



A^L the hidden forces of madness and 
. fear had been unloosed. Not a day passed 
but unexpected things happened, things that 
the day before had seemed incredible, till now 
nothing was incredible or unexpected. Every- 
body lived in dread. A mob might anywhere 
bring a race war. 

Nobody had dreamed that public feeling could 
be wrought up to such a pitch. We of the Club 
had surely never expected such a "roaring hell" 
as Captain Bob Logan called it. 

What had we done ? We had only emphasized 
the need of training the people, of quickening 
their ambition, of hastening the building of 
school-houses. If the Democratic managers had 
not insulted us we should never have thought 
of holding a convention. We had no idea "of 
going into politics." Certainly we had not meant 
to engage in civil war. 

It was rung into my ears, day in and day out, 
that I was inciting the Negroes to crime and 
provoking exasperated white men to revenge - 

265 



266 THE SOUTHERNER 

a lie that would have been ludicrous if it had not 
been so ghastly. 

The newspapers, many of them at least, had 
become active incentives to violence. Every little 
disorder, not to say every crime, was reported 
with lurid details. Even hearsay made as good 
matter for headlines as real events, and the 
newspaper readers were kept excited by rumours 
of more trouble than came. I did not know till 
now the hidden fury that lay in race-hatred. 
Race-difference, which may be ever so friendly 
in the even course of events, seems to hold a 
latent quality that may on occasion flare into 
the fiercest hate. It is something akin to the 
fury of Asiatics, as in the Sepoy rebellion, or the 
bloody fanaticism of Mussulmans. And yet it all 
seemed manufactured. 

There was no more likelihood of the white 
race's losing its dominance than there was like- 
lihood of a river's running up hill. Nor had 
there been any event to change the old time 
friendly relation of the races no event but 
this campaign. This fanaticism seemed to be 
something that had simply been talked into activity. 
But, if it could be thus talked into activity, 
it must have lain in men's hearts dormant all the 
while; and it must be there at all times, ready 
to be talked into activity when needed. 

But, as I frankly tell you, I do not understand 



STORM AND HUSH 267 

it. Here was the spectacle of a good-humoured, 
kindly people, lately at peace with the Negroes. 
They had cheated them at the ballot-box, but 
there had seldom been bloodshed; for ours 
was not one of the Southern States in which 
men's lives had been most lightly held. Three 
months ago we were "the most happy and con- 
tented people on God's green footstool." Cer- 
tainly we were at peace. Now the hard pressed 
old party machine found The White Man's 
crusade a convenient tool to keep alive a waning 
loyalty; and The White Man's cry was repeated 
by most of the other newspapers. If a Negro 
in the next county was reported to have stolen 
a pig, lo! there was danger to our white civil- 
ization. 

Shall I guess at an explanation? 

Fifty or sixty years ago our grandfathers (not 
the Old Man who lies beyond the box-hedge in 
the garden of the Old Place; and herein may be 
the explanation of my failure to understand how 
close barbarism lies to the surface of our kindly 
nature) -- fifty or sixty years ago our grand- 
fathers began a long wrangle about slavery 
and it waxed in violence until they thought and 
talked and wrote of few other subjects. Their 
opponents in the controversy had many other 
subjects to think and to talk and to write about 
- trade and the building of cities and the opening 



268 THE SOUTHERNER 

of new lands and the development of the people 
in many ways. 

Then the controversy came to the violence of 
war. It was the same old controversy, about 
the same subject. And then came defeat. 
Whatever else defeat meant, it still meant the 
concentration of thought on the Negro. Nor 
after he became free did he disappear from our 
father's minds as the chief subject of thought 
and of talk. From the minds of their opponents 
he was well-nigh gone. He did not live with 
them. They had not suffered defeat. More 
energetically than ever they were building cities 
and settling new lands and driving trade and 
finding a healthful variety of occupations. 

But now more than ever the Negro was the 
One Subject of our fathers' thought and speech; 
for during the time of Reconstruction he was 
set in authority over his master. 

And so for fifty or sixty years, the full working 
life-time of three generations of men, we had 
had but one main subject of thought and of talk; 
and that was the subject which was linked with 
defeat and humiliation and the passing of the 
old order of things. It did not matter that 
through most of this long period of the monopoly 
of our thought and speech, the Negro himself 
had been passive; for even most of his crimes 
of the Reconstruction time were not primarily 



STORM AND HUSH 269 

his crimes but the crimes of his leaders and new 
political masters, in whose hands he was a tool. 

Now, if three generations of men think and 
wrangle and talk and write and fight (and how 
many died!) and suffer humiliation about One 
Subject this One Subject only engaging them 
-may it not happen that the mind of a whole 
people may be deflected by such an experience 
and that they may come to think awry about it and 
to feel unnatural emotions and to fear impossible 
things and to believe the incredible and to act 
without reason on this One Subject ? 

If this be so, then we have permitted ourselves 
in fact to be ruled --in our minds and actions 
and emotions and character and fears by the 
One Subject. We had for three long generations 
been really ruled by the Negro. 

And the old One Subject was uppermost 
to-day; so that men who would have heard our 
plea for training were hearing and would hear 
only the old Negro controversy in a new form; 
for the Negro yet dominated men's thoughts. 
He ruled us yet. 

There was no reason to be surprised, therefore, 
shocking as it was, to read one day in the great 
headlines of the newspapers that the distinguished 
Colonel Stringweather had been killed by a 
Negro and that there was a race riot in Edinboro. 

It was early in the day when I received a 



270 THE SOUTHERNER 

telegram from Captain Bob Logan asking me 
to come as quickly as possible. 'You may 
save life," was the last phrase in his telegram. 

Colonel Stringweather had been murdered one 
afternoon. It was the next night when I arrived 
at Edinboro just when men were going home to 
supper. 

Captain Bob met me at the station. 

"Hell's broke loose !" he said. "Come over 
to my office and tell me something. You can 
help; but not a word as we go along. The 
town's in a dangerous mood." 

We shut ourselves in after he had ordered a 
drink to steady his nerves; and then in his wild 
way he began to laugh aloud. There was some- 
thing demoniacal in his manner. 

"Worth," he burst out in a wild tone, "I've 
had the most interesting speculation all day - 
an absorbing problem in morals. While I've 
been sitting on the edge of this volcano, the most 
interesting problem in morals has come up that 
you can find in all philosophy; and there isn't a 
man here I could mention it to not a man." 

"But about the volcano?" 

"The volcano'll wait. I reckon it'll wait a few 
minutes; or, even if it goes off, let's first decide 
the question of morals. Won't you have a drink ? 

"No? Well, / will. The question of morals 
is this " 



STORM AND HUSH 271 

"Stop and tell me about Colonel Stringweather's 
murder. Anything more than what appeared 
in the paper?" 

"We'll come to that in this question of morals. 
Sit down." He stood up and took an oratorical 
attitude. 

: 'The question is, whether the murder of old 
Stringweather was a harm or a help to civilization. 
Consider: 

"First: If he were alive he'd be bawling, 
'Down with the nigger.' Yet his murder by a 
nigger will give his side more help on election 
day than anything he could have done alive. He 
helped his cause, then, by being killed. That 
is the same as to say he is doing more harm 
dead than he could do alive. Therefore, it's 
unfortunate that he is dead. That's clear - 
isn't it? 

"Secondly: The sooner an old firebrand such 
as he was is taken away from any community 
the better for the community on general principles. 
Therefore, it is equally clear that it is well he 
is dead. 

" Thirdly: As to the manner of his dying: 
If he had died a natural death, it would have 
been wholly good for the community. If he 
had been killed by a white man, while his absence 
would have been a blessing, the community 
would have been the worse off for having had a 



272 THE SOUTHERNER 

murder. (Don't get impatient. I'm coming to 
the nub of the whole matter.) But, since he 
was killed by a nigger and the nigger will be 
lynched - - probably the wrong nigger at that - 
old Stringweather himself is accessory to a murder 
or two, even after his death; for he would have 
done as much for any member of the mob as 
any member of the mob will do for him, mutatis 
mutandis. Therefore, the community will suffer not 
only from having one murder committed in it, but 
from two or more murders due to said String- 
weather, and the murderers will be executed 
by a lot of other murderers in a mob who will 
go free. With two less murderers in the com- 
munity (if they get the right nigger), the 
community will be better off, in spite of the 
other murderers who go free. Therefore, again, 
there are reasons for declaring his death a 
benefit. 

"Fourthly: Yet it cannot be a good thing for 
any community to suffer such acts of violence. 
Hence the whole series of events seems lamentable. 

"Fifthly: On the other hand, to take only 
the every-day common sense view of it, the exit 
of old Stringweather by any road was a good 
riddance for any community. 

"Finally, therefore, I say, you may go round and 
round and you will find yourself at last standing 
in the same tracks that you stood in when you 



STORM AND HUSH 273 

started. And whether the ways of Providence 
are justified in politics, who shall say ? 

"You give it up, do you?" 

"Now, Logan, perhaps you'll say why you 
sent for me. What can I do ? " 

"We'd better be going now. Come and we'll 
see we may be too late"; and I followed 
him as he unbolted the door and rushed out 
on the street. 

'That nigger, Marshall," he explained as 
we ran, "he's a friend of yours, or I wouldn't 
have sent for you. They put him in jail this 
morning; and, when they raid the jail to-night, 
they will swing him." 

"Can't the raiding be prevented?" 

"I've telegraphed the Governor for troops; 
but everything is done for political effect, and 
nothing will be done. God in heaven couldn't 
save the nigger that really killed him, if he is 
caught. But maybe we can save Marshall." 

We were now at the house of a justice of the 
peace. Without greeting, Captain Bob went on: 

"Do you swear, Nicholas Worth, that on 
October 14, you saw and conversed in the City 
of Marlborough with John Marshall, coloured, of 
Edinboro, as late as five o'clock post meridiem?' 

"Yes," I said, "I swear." 

"That'll help, for the body was found at 
four o'clock." 



274 THE SOUTHERNER 

Somebody had recalled that Colonel String- 
weather had often spoken with disgust of 
Marshall's school. When his body was found 
in one of his fields, his head crushed in by a 
blow, evidently with an axe, Marshall was not 
at home and there was no axe at his wood-pile. 
On that "evidence" he was arrested and lodged 
in jail. 

Captain Logan and I had now come to the 
hotel in an excited crowd. "Gentlemen," he 
said, "Professor Worth swears that the Negro, 
Marshall, was in Marlborough at five o'clock 
the day of the murder. He could not have got 
there till ten o'clock that night. Stringweather's 
body was found at four o'clock. The man, 
therefore, could not have been the murderer. 
Do you swear that, Professor Worth ? " 

"I do." 

"Damned if that don't look queer," one of 
the men said, who had followed us from the 
street. "The conductor on the night train last 
night didn't remember seein' him. Why didn't 
he see him ? Nobody seed him git off here." 

"No matter, gentlemen, I can produce other 
witnesses to this Negro's presence in Marlborough 
till five o'clock." 

The crowd talked, grumbled, subsided, aroused 
itself again, divided into little groups, again 
assembled, and discussed the conductor and the 



STORM AND HUSH 275 

axe with which the deed was done over and 
over again. 

Captain Bob and I walked to the jail. The 
jailor was sure there'd be no mob. Yet he 
said that he was well armed and had two extra 
policemen inside. Two ? Why, if a mob came, 
Marshall would surely be hanged. Beyond the 
jail in a vacant lot, a great company of 
Negroes was gathered. We went there and 
ordered them home. 'You'll cause trouble - 
go home!" 

We walked about the neighbouring streets, 
talking to whomever we met, explaining what we 
knew. 

"Mighty concerned about a damned nigger," 
one fellow remarked as he passed on. "Must 
love 'em." 

Well, the mob did not gather at the jail, and 
toward morning we went to bed. 

One of the memorable days of my life had 
been marred, and from weariness the day 
had seemed weeks long I fell asleep at dawn 
in the "energetic city" of my humiliation; and 
old Stringweather lay in his coffin. 

All the horrid facts came out in due time, 
after the campaign was ended. Colonel String- 
weather had threatened to strike a newly hired 
Negro whom he had employed to build a fence. 
The Negro hit him with an axe. He was caught 



276 THE SOUTHERNER 

and tried and hanged a few weeks later, and 
Marshall was let out of jail. 

The campaign became more furiously a dis- 
cussion of the One Subject than ever; and the 
people in the towns were afraid to go to bed lest 
there should be race riots. The political managers 
were become desperate. 

Yet it was not so in the country, especially in 
that part of the State where the best farms were, 
the cotton farms. The farmers' organizations 
were at work there; and many candidates for 
the Legislature (some on one ticket and some on 
the other) were "organization" men men of 
their own kind. These farmers had become 
earnest for economic relief. They at least had 
found another subject. And in some of the 
rural counties many Democrats responded to 
our educational appeal. There were many such 
men who were going to vote for me and for all 
the Democratic candidates but my opponent. 
We heard of them every day and by every mail. 
They spoke to me wherever I went. If they never 
had bolted before they would bolt now. 

But gradually the shock of the riot at Edin- 
boro made men pause and be more careful. It 
was already plain that the murder had had 
nothing to do with politics. But it inflamed the 
race-feeling nevertheless. The Northern news- 



STORM AND HUSH 277 

papers had sent correspondents' to Edinboro. 
The murder was under discussion throughout 
the Union. The State was receiving a criminal 
notoriety that caused even Major Thorne to be 
very careful. The Globe published an editorial 
on "Caution" every day till the election, calling 
on all good men to see that the fair name of the 
Commonwealth should not suffer by any violent 
act of irresponsible men. 

A fortnight had now passed since the criminal 
sensation, and there had been no subsequent 
disturbance reported from any place in the state. 
The rebound from recklessness had come; and 
my winning of the election seemed certain, whether 
the Republican ticket should be elected or not. 

And, wherever I had spoken especially during 
these two weeks, our programme had been received 
with enthusiasm. I had large audiences, made 
up now of more white men than black. At 
last the idea seemed to be understood -- that 
I was not talking party politics, and that, of all 
the candidates, I alone spoke of the training 
of the young of the bringing of a better chance 
for the country boy and girl. 

It was interesting, it was exhilarating, it was 
exciting, glorious, to see these people wake up. 
They were not dead. They knew in a dumb 
way that they had been misled, cheated, dis- 
inherited; that they had believed a lie. They 



278 THE SOUTHERNER 

were beginning to see that they were not "the 
most happy and the most fortunate people on 
God's green footstool." They wished their child- 
ren to have better chances than they had had. 

There was simply an incalculable volume of 
power political power, intellectual power, social 
power, spiritual power in them if we could 
release it and guide it. And the time of its 
release seemed come at last. 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE MESSAGE OF THE OLD JUDGE 

ONE day before the political campaign came on, 
I had talked long with Judge Bartholomew 
about my grandfather and their old-time political 
creed. When I was gone he said to his daughter: 

"Much of my will is an Address to my Country- 
men; and, at my funeral, after the service is read, 
I wish young Nicholas Worth to read this Address 
to those who are assembled. He understands 
its meaning, and he bears the name of a remark- 
able man, whom I shall soon follow to the Supreme 
Court of the Universe." 

And now the news came that he was dead. I 
was summoned to hear his affectionate request, 
and I was deeply touched. 

He was the patriarch of Marlborough indeed, 
of the State perhaps its most venerable and 
certainly its most distinguished citizen. But he 
had lived so long in retirement that many persons 
in the capital had probably never seen him, and 
the life of the city had gone on for many years 
without thought of him. But his death caused 
his great career to be recalled. 

279 



280 THE SOUTHERNER 

It may be that every generation in every country 
produces great men, and that it is only when 
occasions bring them into dramatic relations to 
their fellows that they are recognized. But here 
was a man whose dramatic relations to his fellows 
had been forgotten by most of them or was at 
least become dim. Yet the tradition of his legal 
learning had survived his days of activity; and it 
was true that several of his decisions had become 
famous. He had written at least one legal treatise 
that scholars still held in respect and constantly 
made reference to. 

He was likely to come into a wide fame just 
when the Southern States cut themselves off from 
the current of the world's thought. When the 
State seceded he resigned from the bench of its 
highest court and published a solemn and well- 
reasoned argument to show that secession was 
contrary to the Constitution. Passages from it 
were quoted at the time in all parts of the Union; 
but presently the day of soldiers came; and his 
reasoning was not long heard above their guns. He 
had spent the rest of his life at home with his 
library and his family. The political fury of the 
time passed him by respectfully. He expressed 
his opinions without obtruding them on the public. 
During the discussion of secession, he and my 
grandfather had talked much together. My grand- 
father's common sense was fortified by the Judge's 



THE MESSAGE OF THE JUDGE 281 

learning, and the Judge's learning was fortified 
by my grandfather's common sense. 

"A remarkable man, sir," he would say to me. 
" If Nicholas Worth had been trained to the law, 
he would have shown as fine a legal mind as we 
have in our whole history a strong grasp on 
fundamental principles, and most excellent 
judgment." 

All the town and many persons from a distance 
attended the funeral which was held on Sunday; 
and the Bishop read the service and spoke briefly 
of his courageous career. St. Peter's was not 
yet repaired, and the service was held in the room 
of the court over which he had presided. 

Then I read to the crowded company a docu- 
ment that, if we knew history when we see it, 
would long ago have become historic. The solemn 
eloquence of it came like a great voice from the 
dead: 

"As events showed secession to be a great crime 
against the Nation, followed, as great crimes are 
wont to be, by reprisals and errors and passionate 
misjudgments and wrong acts, I abjure my 
countrymen to keep steadily and patiently at the 
long labour of thoroughly reestablishing the 
national structure of the Fathers. The law must 
be supreme. There is no other road to an orderly 
and secure society. 

"The war for secession was the last great 



282 THE SOUTHERNER 

struggle of English men against their brothers for 
the full rights of free men; and those full rights 
must be kept secure. 

"We have had an untrained race thrust into 
the body of our citizenship. Citizenship must 
then be so fortified by sound laws and by their 
sacred observance that it shall withstand this vio- 
lence, and lawlessness be prevented. For law- 
lessness has in all times and places begotten 
lawlessness. 

"I would not have had this untrained race thus 
thrust suddenly into the body of our citizenship 
and we should not have suffered it if we had 
refrained from secession. But since it has come 
we must make our character and our citizen- 
ship strong enough to withstand the shock. 

"And I charge my countrymen in this, my last 
will and testament, to make and keep the financial 
record of our beloved State free even from the 
technicality of repudiation. Bonds that were 
issued by adventurers who stole the proceeds still 
ought to be paid. Men and states must pay the 
penalty of their misfortunes as well as of their sins. 

"May God have for our Commonwealth a great 
destiny in the proud Union of States now, in spite 
of the follies of impetuous men, made eternally 
indestructible a place of honour hereafter for- 
ever through law and the faithful obedience to 
law. Amen." 



THE MESSAGE OF THE JUDGE 283 

Great spirits speak a common language. As 
I read this solemn deliverance of the dead, I 
seemed to hear my grandfather's voice; and I sat 
as in a dream while the choir sang and the great 
judge was borne from the crowded room. 

I felt again the power of those great builders 
who had made us a Nation a hovering of their 
spirits, as I had felt it the day we buried the old 
man whose name I bear; and the smaller life 
about me seemed a jarring anachronism. 



CHAPTER XXII 

THE ELECTION 

AND now the day of the election was come. 
In Millworth the sun rose in a clear sky - 
a good omen. Early in the day I went into Marl- 
borough to the office of the Club. 

Minute instructions had been sent to our lieu- 
tenants in every county, and now we telegraphed 
to many of them a message of cheer and of caution 
- let them watch the polls carefully. If the 
Negroes should be permitted to vote, my election 
seemed certain. Friends of our cause were to go 
early and to stay late at the polling-places to pre- 
vent intimidation and miscounting. Our first 
fear was that in many counties the Negroes had 
been so frightened beforehand that they would 
not go to the polls at all. 

There never had been a quieter forenoon at the 
little capital. Men walked idly up and down 
the streets with an air of embarrassment, as if 
they were exceptionally energetic on all other days 
and found idleness irksome. 

>( What's the news?" a passerby would ask as 
he looked in the door of our Club. 

284 



THE ELECTION 285 

"Nothing; too soon yet." 

And another would presently repeat the idle 
question. 

At every village and voting place in the State 
that we had yet heard from there was the same 
sort of calm. About the ballot-boxes sat the 
judges of the election, chewing and smoking, and 
maintaining a grave silence. 

As the afternoon wore on, the anxiety at the 
capital became greater. But there was yet no 
news. Telegrams came from a few towns that a 
full vote was being polled; some reported that I 
was surely winning ; and one fellow spent his tele- 
graph tolls on a facetious message of ridicule. 
"All quiet here," said another. 

Presently a message came that told of the light- 
est vote ever cast in Tacawan County. "No 
Negroes have come to the polls at all." This 
was one of the counties where a Red-shirt Club 
had made parades with pine-torches by night and 
had fired into the air volley after volley of pistol 
shots near all Negro settlements. This was as 
much as to say: "The wise nigger will not vote 
this year." 

The Republican managers had sent word to 
them all that these demonstrations were meant 
only to frighten them, and protection was promised 
to every coloured man who should vote. But, 
four years before, there had been an election riot 



286 THE SOUTHERNER 

in the county and several Negroes had been killed. 
It turned out that not more than a dozen or two 
went to the polls there this year out of nearly a 
thousand. These were permitted to vote without 
protest -- just to show that there was no intimida- 
tion! 

Late in the afternoon a telegram came to the 
Democratic headquarters which read, "Coon 
hunt successful." It meant that the young Demo- 
crats of one "close" town had, the night before, 
taken, in different parties, as many as fifty Negro 
men on raccoon hunts, going a considerable dis- 
tance by train. They gave the Negroes much 
liquor, lost them in the swamps, and returned by 
the only trains that reached the town in time to cast 
their votes. Fifty Republican votes were in the 
"coon woods," and the Democratic majority there 
was peacefully saved. 

But early in the evening, news did begin to come. 
"Riot at the polls in Wayland County." When 
the facts became known, weeks later, it was plain 
that a riot had been planned. On the outskirts 
of a crowd of Negroes, some of whom had voted 
and some had been challenged and rejected, a 
pistol was fired; and a free fight began. Nobody 
was killed, and only one man was wounded; 
but all the Negroes retreated before more could 
vote. During the excitement, the ballot-box into 
which many votes had been deposited, was whisked 



THE ELECTION 287 

away by a sort of sleight-of-hand, and another 
was substituted for it that contained only a few 
regular Democratic ballots. But there was no 
proof of this trick. A confession was made of it 
by the man who did it, many years afterwards. 

As the night advanced, town after town sent 
favourable reports. At last came news of large 
majorities for us in Wayne and Talcott and Worth 
- all these old Democratic counties. The capital 
itself and the county about it gave a large majority 
for me. 

At last by midnight it was plain that 
the election was won: there could be no doubt 
of it, if these returns were all true. And they 
all came as reports from trustworthy men 
won beyond a doubt! For the Republican ticket 
had received more than its usual share of votes, 
because of the coalition with the farmers, and 
a certain number of Democrats surely had voted 
for me instead of the Reverend Mr. Craybill. 

I sent a friend to the Democratic headquarters 
to hear what gossip he could. 

"Oh, yes," said the committeemen, "of course 
we have won, but the returns come in slowly, 
and we cannot yet tell by how large a majority." 

At the telegraph office many messages were 
sent in cipher to Democratic leaders especially 
in the Negro counties. It was now past one 
o'clock in the morning. The crowd at each 



288 THE SOUTHERNER 

headquarters had not diminished. Those who 
were sleepiest roused themselves at intervals 
and added long rows of figures. 

Presently a great shout went up in the street 
in front of the Republican headquarters. Some- 
one set fire to a barrel of rosin, then to another, 
and another. That was the usual bonfire of 
victory. The illumination drew a crowd. The 
crowd shouted a howl of victory. Men began 
to sing and to cry: 

"Logan our next Governor!" 

It was an ill-advised shout. 

Up the street a similar crowd formed in front 
of the Democratic headquarters. A portrait of 
Tom Warren was lifted in a transparency. Each 
crowd grew larger and yelled louder. The 
Republican mob was the bigger and the noisier, 
because it was made up of more Negroes than 
whites. It seemed that every Negro man and 
boy and even many women in the town came to 
see and to shout. 

"Down with nigger rule," came a cry from 
a balcony. The cry ran down the street as a 
wind runs over a prairie. Each crowd surged 
nearer the other. The police tried to keep them 
apart. There were only half a dozen policemen 
and they were soon run over. 

"Down with nigger rule!" and somewhere 
somebody fired a pistol. Instantly a general 



THE ELECTION 289 

firing began. Leading citizens of both parties, 
men held in the highest esteem, came out on the 
balconies of the two hotels and shouted exhorta- 
tions to peace and quiet. The large figure of 
Major Thompson, the mayor of the city, was 
seen on a horse, trying to make his way 
into the struggling mass, crying "Disperse!" 
"Disperse!" and waving his cane in a command 
to disperse. But the mob seemed to take his 
waving cane and gesticulating motions for en- 
couragement. The Governor himself shouted 
"Order!" from a second story window; but 
few heard him. 

Some one yelled, "Turn out the street lamps," 
with the hope, I imagine, that the mob would 
disperse in the dark. 

One after another the lights went out. In a 
few minutes, it was very dark a night without 
a moon. 

Nobody knew what was happening. Now and 
then a pistol shot was heard, and a dozen more 
would quickly follow, then a yell would break 
the silence. The voice of a policeman above the 
din commanded every man to go home. 
After a while the street lamps were re-lighted. 
The foolish mob had dissolved except that little 
knots of men gathered here and there, asking 
one another what had happened. The Negroes 
had all gone in terror. 



ago THE SOUTHERNER 

"Down with nigger rule!" would come now 
and then from a window, out of which a pistol 
shot was fired. 

Three negroes were found dead, and the report 
was that several more had gone home wounded. 

By this time it was clear that the whole Repub- 
lican ticket had won the election if the counties 
that were known to have Republican majorities 
voted as usual; for there had been very con- 
siderable Republican gains in many Democratic 
counties. 

But most of the telegrams that came to us 
said only, "Returns delayed/' 

The meaning of this came over me with a 
dismal certainty; and we all agreed that we 
should have to face the plain fact of being counted 
out. We understood the desperation of our 
enemies. 

Senator Barker all this while had sat at his 
headquarters in a quiet mood. To him it was 
a game, and not even a game of chance. He 
had no doubt of the result and he was not worried. 
This was his business and his profession as well 
as his sport. 

Of course, he had not troubled himself to 
think of the Negro as a real menace. Certainly 
he was no greater menace than he had always 
been. But young men excitable men had 



THE ELECTION 291 

taken his words seriously. He had said that 
the Negro was a menace. They believed that 
he was believed it with fanaticism. And, if 
the Negro was a menace, the sooner we are rid 
of him the better. 

Senator Barker had said also that I was playing 
into the hands of the Negro and wished to put 
the black man on top, to subvert white civilization. 
To him that was professional talk. But to 
excitable young men it seemed truth. They 
regarded me as an enemy to the Commonwealth, 
a menace to social life, an ogre. 

There were, therefore, throughout the State, 
many such men who regarded it as a patriotic 
and even sacred social duty to see that the 
Democratic ticket won, at whatever cost. To 
make false returns, if that were necessary, was 
a patriotic duty. 

I now saw their point of view and their state 
of mind. It was a state of mind that no reason 
could reach or touch. Their very courage made 
them dumb to all that we had said. I saw clearly 
that I should not be allowed to win. 

More telegrams had come. The drift of them 
all was that in the Democratic counties the Dem- 
ocratic majority was greater than usual, and 
from the Republican counties the count was 
for some reason delayed was very slow in 
being reported. 



292 THE SOUTHERNER 

Thus the hours wore on. The streets became 
almost deserted. Now and then some belated 
drunken fool would call in a thick voice: 

"Down with nigger rule!" 

Another: 

"Licked 'em ag'in." 

Another telegram would come no meaning 
but the old one delayed returns. 

We talked little more. There was nothing 
to say; and one by one we went home. Before 
going to bed I walked out on the balcony 
of the hotel. In the sky the first red of dawn 
was creeping up. I saw a dog licking a blot 
on the sidewalk across the street. It was the 
spot where a Negro, shot in the riot, had 
fallen dead. 

But I did not go to bed as I had meant to. A 
telegram came from Captain Bob Logan: 

"I propose to demand Federal interference. 
State must be put under martial law. Is in a 
virtual insurrection. Expect you to join me in de- 
mand. Election a wholesale fraud. Am prepar- 
ing for fight, continuous fight. Don't surrender." 

I went to the Republican headquarters. The 
door was closed. When I came back to the 
hotel, I found a morning paper all screaming 
headlines of victory and an editorial on "The 
Saving of Anglo-Saxon Civilization." There was 



THE ELECTION 293 

only a humorous allusion to "the foolish little 
band of deluded reformers." 

The riot was described in ten lines. "The 
names of the unfortunate Negroes," it said, 
"had not yet been ascertained." And the naif 
remark followed, "They would have been wiser 
if they had stayed at home." 

I answered Captain Bob Logan: "Act only 
after consultation." 

It turned out as I had expected. The State 
was not in insurrection. Breaches of the peace 
had occurred at several places, but they soon 
ended. There was no riot or bloodshed except 
in Marlborough itself. The result had been 
brought about by the intimidation of Negroes 
and by false election returns. There was no 
appeal to the Federal Government. There could 
be no successful appeal to any authority or 
tribunal. 

Professor Billy took the train as soon as he 
had read the morning paper, and came to see me. 

"It's hard on you, old man; for it's hard 
always to seem to be whipped. But it's all 
right for the cause. It may be a real victory 
yet. A legislature favourable to us may have 
been elected. We can't yet tell. At any rate, 
it's a fine, hard first-blow in a knockout fight. 
We could hardly expect our cause to win every- 
thing at once. It's hard on you that's the 



294 THE SOUTHERNER 

worst of it. But, of course, we can't at once 
work a revolution for education among a people 
who do not yet care to be educated. It will 
take a long time." 

"A long time a long time" that phrase 
kept ringing in my ears. We had hoped to do 
at once what could be done only after a weary 
period of agitation; and the result must come 
gradually --must come very slowly, if it ever 
come. Meantime, so far, it seemed to me we 
had failed. 

And Louise Caldwell telegraphed: "I do not 
believe the first reports. We cannot lose. Keep 
in good hope." 

Nothing came, of course, of Captain Bob 
Logan's threat to demand Federal interference. 
When he received my telegram, he cried, 
"Coward," with an oath; and it was far into 
the morning when two of his friends, after 
a long effort, persuaded him to go home; and 
they went with him, one on either side, to 
his door. 

The report came from Edinboro a few days 
later that he had ever since been in bed had 
wrought himself into such a passion that a 
severe illness had followed. 

In the afternoon, I met Senator Barker on 
the street. He was in the glow of a victorious 
humour: 



THE ELECTION 295 

"Worth, I am afraid our boys ran you pretty 
hard on that nigger business. Don't take it to 
heart. Now you're beat, come back into the 
fold. Nobody cares a damn about the nigger 
except for campaign purposes. But you can't 
ever buck against the Anglo-Saxon see ? 
That'll down the Radicals every time. You'd 
better come back to the party where you belong. 
This is the advice of an old campaigner. 

' The nigger," the Senator went on in his 
good-natured way, "I'm sorry for him. The 
Democrats in the South use him to hold on to 
political power, and the Republicans in the North 
used him for the same purpose. He is used to 
fire the heart of the North and to fire the heart 
of the South, and he never gets paid for being 
a boogy." 

Ah! 

I saw still more clearly the ranging of Great 
Forces, but the force that I stood for, could it 
ever win ? 

The deep-seated doubt that ever lurks the 
Doubt that was the dragon of all the old fables - 
came forward again; and I caught myself taking 
stock of my poor plight and of all my small 
assets of hope. But that way self-consciousness 
lies, and I sought counsel of a better philosophy. 
Rest, said I, brings the normal mind and the 
right perspective. I went home. I heard the 



296 THE SOUTHERNER 

river flow over the dam. The cotton was now 
white again in the fields. And, before I fell 
asleep, I made a happy plan, which I should 
carry out on the morrow, telling no one but my 
mother. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

WITH ULYSSES BY THE SEA 

PINE HAVEN lies on the ocean's beach, on 
the long, sandy slope that bore the great, 
long-leaf pine forests, a village of rest, so far from 
all activities that men sought it who wished for a 
time to forget the world wherein they had become 
weary. There was a saying that the very dead 
found Pine Haven more restful than the grave. 
And there was no pleasanter season there than 
November. The wind that gave a gentle hint of 
winter a gentle hint is all that it ever gave - 
sang through the pines an answering melody to 
the roar of the ocean -- the lonesomest place on a 
low, lone shore. 

I went there to sleep, to get away from people 
and letters and telegrams and explanations and 
regrets and advice and condolences all the 
tiresome after-things of a political defeat; and I 
took Uncle Ephraim with me, who was "feelin' 
mightly poo'ly." 

There was a hotel, and there were huts (called 
cottages), in rows under the pines. I engaged 
one of these. On the left and on the right were 

297 



298 THE SOUTHERNER 

others,~where rested old gentlemen and old ladies 
from several States, come to get the early winter 
air, soft and full of the resin and of the sea. Old 
ladies with shawls that were heirlooms; aged 
men with long broadcloth coats these gentle 
relics of a dying generation, with white hair 
and feeble steps and benignant faces, stopping 
at this quiet station before taking the last long 
journey. 

Among them I found, to my delightful surprise, 
Professor Randall, my dear old friend, the teacher 
of Greek in my youth grown prematurely old. 
I had not seen him since I left college. His 
hair was white, the fringe of it that was visible 
around the black skull-cap that he wore. Very 
white, too, was his imperial; for he wore a Napo- 
leonic beard, which gave him a sort of military 
appearance. 

He did not even know that I had been a can- 
didate for office and a renegade and a traitor to 
my race. (We were in another State, which 
meant, in those years, almost another country.) 

We began where we had left off. Did I keep up 
my classics? Oh! too bad! It is a terribly dis- 
tracting time yes yes men can no more 
find the old leisure the old leisure. All life 
is changed -- changed. He had found more time 
for reading during the active campaigns of the 
war than any of his practical acquaintances now 



WITH ULYSSES BY THE SEA 299 

find in every-day life more time really in battle. 
It is battle now -- yes, yes, all battle. 

He had his classics with him ? Yes, of course. 
I took his Homer, and found, somewhat to my 
surprise, that I could read it --halting now and 
then. And we read the Odyssey to one another 
in Greek, to his infinite delight and to my great 
gratification. 

We had been going through this pleasant pas- 
time several mornings, sitting in front of his cot- 
tage, when, while we were reading, Uncle Ephraim 
came along. 

" Professor Randall," said I, " Ulysses approaches 
us. I will beckon to him." 

The old man came up to the porch, and I 
went on: 

" He is stranded here a little while on his journey 
home. And I fear he'll never see Penelope nor 
come into his kingdom again." 

"Yer 'umble sarvant, suh. (What kin' o' 
prank's dat what Mars' Littlenick up to now ?") 

"He has come a long journey since he left the 
windy plains of Troy, and he is resting here on 
his way back to his kingdom." 

Uncle Ephraim bowed, as an actor in a play. 
"De kingdom nigh come fur an ol' man lak me." 

"At home the faithful dog keeps watch for 
him." 

"Yes, suh, got two on 'em." 



300 THE SOUTHERNER 

"And, if favourable winds and the protec- 
tion of the shining goddess favour him, he will 
return to his own." 

"Yes, suh, dat's what I hopes." 

"In his descent to Hades he spoke with the 
spirit of mighty Agamemnon." 

"Mars' Littlenick, I'se heard o' de speerits of 
jus' men made parfec', but dat 'Gamemnon - 
he ain't none o' de prophets, is he ? 'Tain't 
in de Scriptur' what I larnt." 

"Sit down, Uncle Ephraim. I was talking 
Greek to the Professor." 

"I thought it mus' be som'in' lak dat. I'se 
jes' a ol' nigger, boss, his sarvant and his pa's 
sarvant, and bis pa's sarvant afore him; an' I 
ain't none o' dem 'Gamemnons nur nothin' else. 
Mars' Littlenick, he fetch me here ter wait on 
'im, sayin' dat de ocean and de pine trees would 
do my co'f good. You mus' 'scuse him, suh, 
when he gits frolicsome lak dis." 

A man of imaginative temperament, who once 
learns the Greek language so as to read it easily, 
opens the door to as supreme a clear pleasure as 
can be found in the sweep of knowledge or of art. 
There is no keener joy than his reading may give 
him. It remains true, with all the shifting of the 
currents of knowledge and with all the variations 
of experience, that no man may be a supremely 
cultivated man a gentleman in all his intel- 



WITH ULYSSES BY THE SEA 301 

lectual appreciations who has not felt for him- 
self the clear-cut, self-restrained mastery of the 
greatest of all arts, shown best perhaps by a Greek 
play or a Greek oration. And thus I pushed aside 
the world and found forgetfulness even of the long, 
soft, sweet dream of restful affection that seemed 
now gone. 

How a youth may love and dream, and dream 
that he loves, and live the love and the dream, not 
knowing whether it be dream or love and life; 
and if it pass, or seem to pass, become old with the 
solemn age of youth, and mourn because he has 
touched the very limits of human experience! 

As I was saying, I forgot even the old tangled 
skeins of things, when I re-read with Professor 
Randall the story of Ulysses, and caught the 
joy of the old man's talk, as we walked under the 
pines. The blue ^Egean was there, and ever 
audible its roar. 

Once in a while the procession of the aged 
would be relieved by the appearance of a newly 
wedded pair. I pointed to a young couple one 
day, and said to my old philosopher: 

"Why do you suppose they came here, Uncle 
Ephraim ?" 

' 'Spose ? Why, I knows, an' you knows. 
Dey's jes' married. Time you was doin' dat, 
Mars' Littlenick. You de haid o' de fam'bly, 
you know." 



302 THE SOUTHERNER 

"Well, Uncle Ephraim, I'm sometimes afraid 
to marry. The lady might be too soft." 

"Fore God! you don't want er bony one - 
does yer ?" 

Well, Uncle Ephraim's cough was better. I 
had slept and slept; we had finished the Odyssey; 
in fact, I was becoming somewhat weary of resting. 

And I had thought out many things. 

The future ? The service of my country ? 
That was a grim piece of humour now. Mar- 
riage ? Oh, my sweet cousin, we had never really 
known one another. 

While I was pondering these grave subjects, one 
day the old man brought a copy of the Globe 
from the post-office; and surprise overwhelmed 
me at what I read. Here was a long letter from 
Pine Haven about me. They had followed me 
even here. But, thank Heaven! it was not a 
political letter. 

I was discovered after a turbulent and mis- 
directed and fortunately unsuccessful campaign 
-so the introduction of the letter ran --in 
this quiet place in the company of my old teacher, 
the venerable and learned Professor Randall; 
and Professor Randall and I were spending our 
time reading the Greek authors. 

Then followed half a column of eulogy of the 
scholarship of the "typical Southern gentleman." 
He did not go to Saratoga and lead a frivolous life, 



WITH ULYSSES BY THE SEA 303 

but sought quiet and communed with the eternal 
youths of the ancient world. Then another half 
column in praise of my own scholarly accom- 
plishments! 

I had forgotten the oratorical habit of mind and 
its insincerity. This newspaper's opposition to 
me during the campaign had not been sincere. 
It was professional. Everybody knew that I had 
never thought for a moment of proposing or of 
practicing "the socia! equality of the races." 
Yet men (thousands of men) voted against me, 
and thousands of women regarded me as a sort 
of social ogre, because these oratorical phrases 
about "social equality," "white supremacy," the 
"bottom rail on top," and the like, were repeated 
thousands of times. As soon as I was defeated, 
by fair means or foul, I was perhaps not quite 
forgiven; but my "social equality" was no longer 
subversive of society. The Globe tacitly confessed 
that the whole contention had been false. 

And now, a casual remark made no doubt by 
Professor Randall about our reading Homer, pro- 
voked an equally insincere eulogy of me for 
accomplishments that I did not have, and a 
eulogy of the "typical Southern gentleman," 
that must have surprised him, if he be capable 
of surprise in his Walhalla. A month ago I was a 
vile enemy of social order. Now I was a scholarly 
ornament of society. 



3 o 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

And it became plainer and plainer to me that 
there is nothing real in the oratorical zone. The 
real things here are these pines and the sea, these 
two old men, my brother's work and the cotton 
fields, Professor Billy and his unwearying plan 
for a college for girls. The rest is a hollow sham, 
or sheer inertia. 

When we were to start home I felt like pick- 
ing up forgotten threads of old things, and I said 
to Uncle Ephraim that we would go and see Sam. 

44 Sam who?" 

"Sam who used to belong to us." 

"Sam what run away? I thought he done 
gone or was daid, or som't'in' happen ter him." 

"He's teaching." 

"Sam a-teachin' school? Whar'd he git his 
larnin' ?" 

For Sam was now a teacher in a large school 
for Negro youth. In the pamphlet of explanation 
of the school, he appeared as "Samuel Worth, 
Teacher of Building." 

It was Saturday when we arrived. Professor 
Worth (Is "dat what we got ter call Sam, Mars' 
Littlenick?") showed us the workshops of the 
school. Here were young men learning carpen- 
try; here were others learning shoe-making; and 
others, harness-making; others were laying bricks; 
others were learning to shoe horses; others to plan 



WITH ULYSSES BY THE SEA 305 

and to build houses (this was Professor Worth's 
own department). The young women were taught 
to cook, to sew, to do fine laundry work, to care 
for poultry, to nurse the sick. There was a farm 
where both sexes worked, and a dairy where 
women were taught to make butter. And at 
night they had lessons from books. 

And there was not a white man on the premises. 
All this work was done by coloured men and 
women. 

"Now dat's de way ter larn de young folks ter 
be some account," Uncle Ephraim said. 

Saturday night the custom was for all the 
students to gather in the great hall, a large audi- 
torium of which Sam was the architect, and to 
sing the plantation melodies. Professor Worth 
was the leader of the singing as well as the teacher 
of building. They insisted that Uncle Ephraim 
and I should sit on the platform. In they came, 
six hundred of them, more than half being half- 
white. After the reading of a chapter from the 
Bible and a brief prayer, which all recited, the 
singing of the religious songs and plantation melo- 
dies was begun. 

That mighty chorus of six hundred voices sent 
the rolling old refrains up to the rafters. 

They sang, "O Lord, What a MorninV 

I saw tears come to Uncle Ephraim's eyes. 

"Let 'em sing dat ag'in, suh, if you please," 



3 o6 THE SOUTHERNER 

said the old man; and again, even louder and 
more melodiously, the Heavens were rolled up as 
a scroll, and the Great Day was come! 

Here was a reason, as I had found a reason 
among the white folk, why we who are born here 
ever feel the call of the land to serve the people. 
Here were the fundamental crudities exposed. 
Here were three hundred half-white faces before 
me three hundred tragedies the white man 
calling out in every one of them to the life of his 
kinsmen and the black man holding him to the 
plane of the African. And here was the African, 
now through the tutelage of slavery, trying to 
become an independent, full-grown man all 
children in civilization, not yet understanding, 
nor yet understood, pulling upward against odds 
that must be endured rather than resented, a 
patient race, with need of all its patience, a humour- 
loving people, with need of all their humour, a 
melodious folk, with need of all their music for 
consolation pulling up, pulling up, and here 
at least rising by the best way, the way of trained 
industry; and yet their very songs were the songs 
of slavery. But it was a music such as the master 
race had not developed. The pathos of it would 
move even old Stringweather to tears, if he could 
see and hear it in his long home. 

Yet a more pathetic fact was that not one of the 
Stringweathers or their like or their dupes would 



WITH ULYSSES BY THE SEA 307 

ever have such an experience, for not one of them 
would ever visit such a school, nor even believe 
the truthful reports that were made of it. 

I must make an address to the students, they told 
me; and the Principal introduced me. I do not 
know what I said --no matter; for something far 
more important happened when I sat down. 

Without invitation or warning, Uncle Ephraim 
arose. He was feeble, but he hobbled to the 
centre of the platform, his white head a fitting 
crown of his great black stature; and he looked 
down from his height of ninety years. He turned 
to the Principal and bowed. 

There was a long silence. Something in his 
motion recalled my grandfather. He said nothing, 
and the silence became intense. 

He bowed again. 

Was the old man getting a glimpse at last, 
before he should go, of the great problem of which 
he was a part, and of which he had never been 
aware ? 

At last he began to speak: 

"I wants ter say, suh, I is er oY man, done pas' 
de years er de prophets, an' I'll soon be gwine 
ter de odder sho'. 

" Before I goes, whar I'll see de gret men of 
dem gret ol' times -- Mars' Henry Clay and my 
ol' Marster and Mars' Lawd Gawd A'mighty 
hisself--I'se much obleeged ter hear dem gret 



308 THE SOUTHERNER 

ol' songs and ter see yer a-fetchin' up dese young 
fo'ks here ter do deir hones' wuk. Now I bids 
yer far-well." 

I looked at Sam, who sat motionless. But 
presently he awoke and beckoned to the con- 
gregation to rise, and again they all sang, six hun- 
dred strong: 

"OLord, What a Mornin V 



CHAPTER XXIV 

THE BUILDERS 

WHEN I came back to Maryborough, to my 
surprise few persons mentioned the elec- 
tion or my political adventure. The subject 
seemed wholly to have passed out of men's minds. 
Everybody had become weary of the unnatural 
strain and had been glad to turn to other things. 

But almost everybody whom I met spoke 
of my scholarly habits. You would have thought 
I was a distinguished Hellenist in a community 
given to classical scholarship. Yet not a man 
nor a woman who alluded to my "scholarly 
diversion" knew even the Greek alphabet, nor 
had any desire to learn it. But that was no 
reason why they should not take a pride even 
in accomplishments that I did not have. 

Again, therefore, as always in an insincere 
and artificial world, the comical aspects of life 
balanced the despondent moods; and it was 
hard to make up my mind in such an atmosphere 
which emotion I ought to yield to amusement 
or weariness. Amusing it surely was for a time; 
but could there be anything real in life there ? 

309 



3 io THE SOUTHERNER 

Yes, a sectional pride was real very real. 
The editor of the Globe hated with a very fury 
of hatred what he called "the North." Major 
Thorne was in earnest. Unlike Senator Barker, 
he had convictions. He believed with the 
bitterness of narrowness that I would subvert 
society if I could. He believed that to educate 
"the populace" as he called them, would be to 
put false ambitions into the minds of simple 
people; and even to talk of educating a Negro 
was to brandish a firebrand. He had often 
quoted the Virginian of Colonial times who 
said that he thanked God that no free school 
had been planted in the Old Dominion. 

He regarded the educational ideas and the 
whole civilization of "the North" as the preachers 
regarded the modern scientists and the doctrine 
of evolution. They knew nothing about the 
subject, but they knew, whatever it was, that 
it was damnable. This very day's copy of the 
Globe contained the following editorial: 

"The maudlin craze for 'education' -the 
planting of restlessness and the sowing of impos- 
sible hopes in the minds of the populace, at the 
public expense is one of the most plausibk 
attacks of a strong, centralized, paternal govern- 
ment. The irresponsible classes deluded and 
made dissatisfied, the whole social organization 
disturbed such would be the only result; and 



THE BUILDERS 311 

the responsible class must suffer the damage and 
pay the bill." 

The same paper contained also this editorial 
paragraph: 

"We hope it is true that there is thought of 
giving an important consulship in Greece to 
young Nicholas Worth. He has won his political 
reward as those in high authority at Washing- 
ton look at it; and, since this post has for some 
time been held by a Southern man, we should 
like to see a Southern scholar continue to hold 
it, now that the late occupant is dead." 

No chance for a "castigation" of Mr. Nicholas 
Worth, as an individual, was ever neglected by 
Major Thorne; but, when it happened that my 
virtues or my faults or my accomplishments or 
my shortcomings, or anything that was mine, 
could be used to show the superiority of Southern 
civilization over "the North's" his larger hatred 
swallowed his smaller; for, if the supposed 
accomplishments even of a renegade Southerner 
put "the North" to shame, so much the better. 
The effort was continuously made to assure "the 
North" that we were a cultivated and scholarly 
people. 

In a few days a letter came to me from of 
all men in the world Senator Barker. He had 
no power of effective recommendation, he 
explained, with the Republican Administration; 



3 12 THE SOUTHERNER 

but he had already taken pleasure in speaking to 
the Secretary of State and to the President himself 
in my behalf. He was, in fact, a social favourite 
and successful courtier at the White House - 
the sly old high-liver and story-teller; and he 
advised me to make formal application and to 
come at once to Washington. 

"Of course," said Major Thorne, who even 
came to the hotel to see me, "you are entitled to 
this reward and more, for goin' over to the Radi- 
cals. Worth, you'd better come back into the 
white man's fold; but, if you're clean gone ove-r 
to the enemy, you ought to have your reward." 

Surely it would be a pleasure to take up my 
Greek in real earnest, if for no other reason than to 
put this silly mockery to shame. And why not ? 
A week ago I had been dreaming of the joy of 
just such a life, and I had almost envied good old 
Professor Randall his remoteness from the world 
and the pleasure he had got from his reading 
during all these distracted years. He had known 
neither the sorrow nor the joy of living through 
them. Yes, why should I not seek the appoint- 
ment ? It would take me away honourably 
- from this hollow life. 

I again took stock of my small store of plans 
and hopes, and tried to look before and after. A 
career ? There was no career. I was an unskilled 
pedagogue, once dismissed and now again without 



THE BUILDERS 313 

a post, a defeated political candidate, and (in 
spite of all this silly praise K of scholarship that 
I did not deserve) a man without specific training 
for anything, but living in an intellectual atmos- 
phere where I was not at home and a disap- 
pointed or awakened lover, to boot. 

There were not more than half a dozen persons 
with whom I could be wholly frank on all subjects 
without offence. The horrible Great Tragedy 
behind us and the myths that had already grown 
over it and sanctified it the shadow of these 
rested everywhere. The private tragedies that 
had hit close to my own life had, everyone in some 
way, leaped out of this shadow. In a land 
brilliant with sunshine, you must walk in twilight. 
I could not be wholly frank even with the good 
women closest to me. Margaret could never 
have been happy with me, really knowing me; 
nor I, after I had really come to know her. To 
my mother I had been willing to be silent, at 
least on religion; for I owed an affectionate 
respect to any opinion that she might cherish. 
We had all life in common but this small section 
of it. Even an implied untruth an untruth of 
silence to her was hardly a tax on my frank- 
ness or honesty of mind. Our affection covered 
more than all conceivable differences of opinion. 

But this could not be so in my relations with 
anybody else without open falsehood. To my 



3 i4 THE SOUTHERNER 

aunt and to my cousin and to all good women 
like them, I must be offensive or I must be silent 
on our history, on the real condition of the 
Southern people, on the Negro, on the Church - 
on almost all subjects of serious concern. I 
must suppress myself and live a lie, or I must 
offend them. 

This in spite of the very considerable freedom 
of opinion and of discussion among men only. 
In men's society in Marlborough, a freedom 
was granted that was never allowed at the fireside 
or in public. I could talk in private as I pleased 
with Senator Barker himself about Jefferson 
Davis or about educating the Negro. He was 
tolerant of all private opinions, privately expressed 
among men only. But the moment that an 
objectionable opinion was put forth publicly or 
in the presence of women or to Negroes, that 
was another matter. Then it touched our Sacred 
Dead, our Hearthstones, etc,, etc. In this fashion, 
most men who thought led a sort of double life; 
and to most of them there did not seem to be any 
contradiction or insincerity in such a life. 

But the suppression of one's self, the arrest of 
one's growth, the intellectual loneliness and the 
personal inconvenience of living under conditions 
like these this was not the worst of it. For 
a man, even in the ardour of youthful freedom, 
can adjust himself to a false society (and all 



THE BUILDERS 315 

society is more or less false) as, for example, one 
could adjust one's self to society in Russia, and 
find many pleasures left outside the zone of 
necessary silence. 

But there can be no such thing as a democracy 
with any zone of silence about it. I could perhaps 
content myself - - to a degree I had done that 
very thing and smother my spirit of revolt, 
as many men of naturally independent temper- 
aments had done, but for a fact of much larger 
significance than one's own personal intellectual 
comfort. For these men who ruled by the ghost 
called Public Opinion held the country and all 
the people back almost in the same economic 
and social state in which slavery had left them. 
There was no hope for the future under their 
domination. The people who least suspected 
it were the most completely suppressed. 

And the very land suffered, for all our life 
rested at last on cotton. The soil was becoming 
poorer under a system of tillage that grew worse. 
The Negro was the principal labourer, and, 
without training as a farmer and as a man, he 
was becoming a less efficient worker. So, too, 
the white farmer. Training was denied to both. 
The pitiful short-staple yield of impoverished 
acres was sold for the starving price of low grades 
because it was not skilfully nor promptly gathered 
from the fields; it was wastefully handled; and 



316 THE SOUTHERNER 

it went at last to pay mortgages on itself. Life 
could rise no higher till efficiency and thrift 
came in. . There would be no broadening of 
thought, because only old thoughts were accept- 
able; no change in society, because society's 
chief concern was to tolerate no change. The 
whole community would stand still, or slip further 
back. 

A change must come. Yes, but I should be 
dead, my life all lived to little purpose, in this 
changeless twilight of half silence and smothering 
atmosphere. 

To think of spending my life in Marlborough 
as it then was or as it seemed ever likely to become! 
The Old Soldiers, the Daughters, the endless 
twaddle about fair women and brave men, the 
prayer-meetings half the week, the bishop - 
Great Heavens! a man would smother there, or 
wither up while the long summers shimmered 
above the sidewalks and curled the shingles on 
the roofs. 

I would answer Senator Barker appreciatively 
and at least go to Washington and see what 
all this meant. 

The chance to get the appointment seemed 
greatly helped, too, by the information, which came 
to me in a roundabout way, that the two managers 
of the little Republican machine in the State 
the postmaster at JVIarlborough and the collector 



THE BUILDERS 317 

of internal revenue favoured my appointment. 
I had -had little to do with these men. They 
were not held in high esteem. But there seemed 
no doubt that their advice was sought and valued 
at Washington. 

And consular appointments in those days were 
frankly considered "spoils." The postmaster 
and the collector knew of no one else who 
could be decently even thought of for such a post; 
and, of course, there was another reason for 
their unexpected kindness to me - - a reason 
that I, a mere infant in politics, had not yet 
discerned. 

All this out of an accidental absurd newspaper 
letter about me from Pine Haven! It hardly 
seemed worth while for a man to try to plan a 
career if it could be shaped for him in so hap- 
hazard a way by such trivial and accidental 
events. I would, therefore, at least go to Washing- 
ton. That was the one suggestion now in sight. 

Louise Caldwell was visiting my mother the 
day I went home. She made sad pilgrimages to 
Marlborough once or twice a year, and she often 
stopped on the way to spend a day at Millworth. 
They talked much about flower-culture and she 
usually carried with her a great sheaf of colour 
from the garden. But there was still something 
of the old sad undertone in her talk. I guessed 



3 i8 THE SOUTHERNER 

that she and my mother recalled old sorrows, 
going back to the tragic night of her visit to our 
house in her childhood. 

When we came to supper the whole household 
fell to talking of the Globe's editorial about the 
consulship to Greece; and I told them of the 
letter from Senator Barker and of my decision 
at least to go to Washington. My Aunt Eliza 
was much impressed. It would be a great 
honour. 

But my mother dissented. To her it meant 
my absence. 

Charles laughed laughed long and loud. "Of 
course General Barker and Sam Thorne wish 
you to go away. They are sorry you ever came. 
By going you will give up the fight, to their relief, 
and be under obligations to them when you 
come back. If they can send you to Greece and 
get rid of Billy Bain, life will be easier for them." 

And when I afterward told Charles of the 
friendliness of the postmaster and the collector, he 
became more emphatic still. 

"Of course they wish you to commit yourself 
thus formally and definitely to their machine 
to be under obligations to them. Their machine 
and the Democratic machine work together - 
one has the Federal offices, the other the State 
offices. They are allies that feign hostility all 
playing the same game/* 



THE BUILDERS 319 

I did not go to Washington at once, as I had 
meant to do, and in a few days I saw Professor 
Billy. 

" Barker ?" said he, "Senator Barker? Yes, 
yes; I've heard of him, I think. I'll tell you a 
story about him. 

"He had long owed a Hebrew tailor in Washing- 
ton a bill. (He had long owed most persons 
bills, who knew him.) The Jew had just taken 
his son, Isaac, into business with him. 

"Isaac,' said the old man, 'I gannot zome- 
times fint de disdinguished Zenator always at 
home. He owes us a larch pill. Go to de 
Zenate and zee him and gome back wid de moneys. 
Be sure you geds de moneys, Isaac/ 

"Isaac came back and said nothing. 'Did 
you not ged de moneys, Isaac?' 

"'No, fadder.' 

"'You vill never sugzeeds, Isaac, till you 
learns how to gollect pills from chentlemen. I 
vill haf to go meself.' 

"When the old man returned, Isaac asked: 
'Fadder, did you ged de moneys from de 
disdinguished Zenator ?' 

"Isaac, he is a great shentleman, de Zenator. 
He showed me de gommittee room, der Zupreme 
Court, de- 

"'But, fadder, did you ged de moneys?' 

"No, Isaac, I did not ged de moneys from 



320 THE SOUTHERNER 

de disdinguished Zenator; but he said dat you 
vas a goot bus'ness man, and he hoped our 
bus'ness vould now grow wery fast; and he gafe 
me an orter for two zuits of glothes.' 

"De disdinguished Zenator, Nicholas Vorth," 
Professor Billy went on, "has the warmest interest 
in your scholastig gareer he hopes dat it vill 
brosber." 

If my brother and Professor Billy were right, 
how simple was I! The more I thought about 
it, the surer I became that they were right. My 
academic habit of mind kept me far behind them 
in seeing great practical facts and in understanding 
men. I have ever been slow in developing. 
Besides, had I not the very qualities of mind that 
I had often deplored in my countrymen, especially 
that sort of simplicity that marked an arrested 
development and a sort of impractical method 
of thought that was in fact the "oratorical" 
mind ? 

But by their help I now saw clearly. I would 
stay. I would at least not be driven or cajoled 
away. Had I not been cowardly even to think 
of going away ? Would I not be seeking merely 
my personal comfort ? After all, was any really 
great cause won in a single battle or won in two 
battles, or three ? 

I wrote Senator Barker my thanks and explained 



THE BUILDERS 321 

that my plans forbade the consideration of so 
flattering a suggestion as he had kindly made. 

But the question now arose, What should I 
do ? The Professorship of History at the Uni- 
versity was filled by another; and, if it had not 
been, my political enemies would now oppose 
my re-appointment. 

I remained at Millworth for a continuous 
stay, for the first time for several years ; and I 
found out more definitely what Charles had been 
doing. 

There was not one big mill-town now but a 
succession of mill villages. The number of mills 
had increased partly by Charles's own building 
and partly by Cooley's investments. He and his 
sister made frequent and sometimes long visits 
to Millworth, where they had built a little house, 
near my mother's. The two flower-gardens were 
adjacent, and Adelaide and my mother kept up 
a fierce friendly rivalry in their floral work and 
sport. 

I came to know Charles anew, and through 
him I got a large vision, of which (weary as you 
are) I must tell you. 

Everywhere in the mill-villages were orderliness 
and cleanliness. Men, women and children 
worked, but under a system, which others had 
declared impossible, that required work in the 



322 THE SOUTHERNER 

mills to alternate with work at home and at 
school. The whole community was a school. 
Everybody at some time learned more or less of 
every craft required by King Cotton, from the 
preparation of the soil and the planting of the 
seed to the making of garments from the cloth. 
Nor was this all; for the schools were practical 
and other crafts also were taught there if 
there are any crafts that are not needed on a 
cotton-farm and in a cotton-mill and on the way 
from one to the other. Many of these activities 
had not yet reached any considerable develop- 
ment. They were yet in their infancy. But 
they were all practised, even if some only in an 
amateur way. 

"We can solve all our problems here right 
here," Charles would say; "and the aim is to 
teach the people from their infancy that they 
can do better work and lead happier lives here 
than anywhere else and to make this true." 

He had scientific direction for the farm: it 
was not one big "plantation" but many small 
farms all worked by a sort of cooperation. The 
gardens about the mill-cottages were parts of 
it; and poultry and vegetables were sold from 
every one of them. Many experiments had been 
tried and were in progress with different soils 
and seeds, so that the whole plantation was an 
"experimental farm"; and Charles's boast was 



THE BUILDERS 323 

(I think it was true) that the community grew 
more products well for the market than any other 
community in the United States. "We do not 
yet begin to know," he said, "the variety or the 
value of the things that our soil and our sunshine 
and our rains (helped for certain purposes by 
irrigation) will produce. Nobody has yet put 
them to a test." 

And his mind had wandered to still larger 
problems. He had an inventor trying to construct 
a machine that should gather the cotton from 
the plant the one machine that must reduce 
cotton-culture to a really economical and 
scientific basis. 

He had studied markets, too. Many great pos- 
sible demands for cotton products had not yet even 
been found; and those markets that the Southern 
mills supplied, were supplied in an awkward and 
expensive and indirect way. When the best 
breeds of cotton are grown on lands properly fed 
for its culture, and when it is worked and gathered 
by perfected tools and handled intelligently, 
and spun and woven cheaply, and when all the 
mechanism for its world-wide sale and distribution 
is made smooth and direct then (such was the 
plan he had it in mind to prove) the South will 
become one of the most prosperous workshops 
in all the world, perhaps the most prosperous. If 
men of England and of New England had come 



3 2 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

to the cotton instead of having slave-grown 
cotton sent to them most of the mills in Old 
England and in New would now be in these States; 
and the world's great trade routes would lead 
to Southern ports. The English race would, 
by this great industry, have by this time devel- 
oped here better perhaps than it has yet developed 
anywhere; for nowhere has it such a natural 
economic advantage. 

Pondering on all these things I wrote in my 
diary, which I kept with the irregularity that 
is the only precaution a man who keeps a diary 
may take lest he become an egotistical fool 
I wrote in my diary at this time what you may 
here read, if you are so inclined: 

"The plain truth that cannot be blinked is 
that we must regain our character. We are 
not honest about the old subjects of controversy 
the things that go to make public opinion. The 
old, false position in the slavery controversy gave 
political discussion a false position, gave the Church 
a false position, and our very women became the 
sentimental victims of this false position. 

"About things of every-day life personal 
acts as between man and man we are as honest 
as other folk, frank, cheerful, helpful, brotherly, 
with some humour and with infinite good-humour. 
But the structure of public opinion is yet false; 
and we are false in dealing with men in the mass. 



THE BUILDERS 325 

"And this falseness is kept alive by the wrong 
kind of training. We do not take up the problems 
and the tasks of our own lives directly. We 
'educate' the young in our own inherited fallacies. 

"Such a change in character can come only 
from within and must be forced upward from 
the bottom. It must begin on the soil and with 
our tasks of the soil; and we must do the work 
ourselves. There is no worse fallacy in a democ- 
racy than the academic dogma that reforms 
proceed from the top downward - - that some- 
body is going to bring us a happy change of 
method or of thought. In us ourselves lies the 
power of rebuilding the Commonwealth, and 
there is no power elsewhere that can do it. A 
thousand political changes would bring no change 
unless we ourselves change. What a farce is 
every political programme till the people are 
developed! And the men that we call 'educated* 
they agree with us that the masses ought to 
be trained; but they have no strong impulse 
to do so. Nor do they know how. For they 
themselves were mistrained -- in a view of life 
that has nothing to do with our life here and now; 
and they have accepted the ignorance of the 
masses as a part of the order of nature. The 
most difficult task of all is the task of arousing 
the 'educated' people to action." 

And on another day: 



326 THE SOUTHERNER 

"I think that Louise Caldwell understands this 
as no other woman among us/' 

And then on a night of meditation: 

"O my Southern Brothers, you who have 
silent, deep-calling moods when you catch the 
ambition of our father's fathers and of their 
fathers who were among the great builders of the 
Republic, and their spirit calls to you we, 
too, have a chance, a great builders' chance, if 
we will see it aright. Two great tasks have 
been done here the foundation of our liberties 
has been laid and the wild continent has been 
subdued. The third task is ours --the right 
training of these delayed people, for upon 
this training rest the extension of liberty and 
the fruitful uses of nature. 

"And you men and women who teach, you 
who make up the great army that drills the 
children and the youth of our many-million 
dwellers on the soil, who yet sparsely settle an 
ill-tilled land, it is not through mediaeval methods 
that you will do builders' work not by droning 
the lore of priests of dead centuries, but by work 
that begins on this soil, shaped for these children, 
to train their lives for this home. This upland 
cotton-belt is a good home for new constructive 
work in your high craft, for a new conception 
and practice of 'education/ 

"And, if there be men who are soul-homeless 



THE BUILDERS 327 

dwellers or wanderers in the great towns of the 
world, made life-weary by the practice or by 
the spectacle of mere money-getting and spending 
and by the unjust and therefore misused power 
and arrogance of Privilege, here on this soil, life 
has the wholesome and simple purpose that they 
miss and long for healthful work that helps 
men and that the worker grows by; for the 
builders of a civilization have never doubted the 
value or the aim of life nor ever suffered soul- 
weariness. 

"I suspect, in fact, that the builders of things 
are the happiest of mortals, and always have 
been --the builders of things, whether of states 
and laws or of 'works' and mills or of colleges; 
for these are the men who satisfy their own 
longings, who find life good, and to whom we 
look for guidance." 

Thus I was finding myself; and I should yet 
help to work out, with a larger understanding, 
the great problem of building up these people - 
in better ways than by political effort. I felt 
some satisfaction at the outlook. 

It was that very week's issue of The White 
Man, continuing its personal abuse of me, which 
had been a regular part of its contents during the 
campaign, that contained a column of which 
the following are paragraphs: 



328 THE SOUTHERNER 

"Educated with Negroes, studying and living 
on a social equality with them; returning to 
his native State and seeking to niggerize the 
public schools; dismissed in disgrace; sleeping 
in the house with Negroes at his own grandfather's 
former home, about which there were unpleas- 
ant suppressed rumours during the campaign; 
promptly on hand to defend a Negro when Colonel 
Stringweather was murdered; since the campaign 
travelling with a Negro to visit a Negro school - 
thus Mr. Worth seems to have abundantly earned 
a reward at the hands of the Negro-loving party. 

"And he has made this nigger-business pay. 
For he has curried favour with his Northern 
friends, who have thus been induced to make 
large investments in cotton-mills in which he 
is interested. 

"Now it is said that there are further rewards 
in store for this traitor to his people that he 
is to have a fat consulship. The further off the 
better for his State. For his own country has 
spewed him out as the whale spewed Jonah. 
This is a white man's country. Let him go." 

Paragraphs like these have, I am told, appeared 
about me in almost every issue of that paper for 
twenty-five years. But I long ago made it a rule 
not to read abuse of myself or of anybody else. 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE WINGED VICTORY 

TOUISE CALDWELL wrote: "No, do not 
JLrf go to Greece except to Acropolis, where 
you will please come to supper next Wednesday." 

Louise and Richard lived in the same little stone 
house where they were born, which my father 
had sold for Colonel Caldwell after he had gone 
to Egypt never to return, and from which their 
mother had gone, also on an endless absence. 
It was the most cultivated and attractive house- 
hold in Acropolis, in spite of a certain loneliness 
that haunted its gray walls and hovered about their 
tall oaks in the grove around it. A cheerful 
earnestness dwelt in that household of two, against 
a background of sadness. Or perhaps the sadness 
and the loneliness were inferred by their neigh- 
bours, because both Louise and Richard remained 
unmarried and because of the tragedies that were 
associated with the house. Richard had built 
another little square stone house beside the old one, 
and the two were connected by a covered porch. 
The new house had only one room which 
everybody knew as the "big" room- "library, 



330 THE SOUTHERNER 

living room, drawing room, state dining room 
everything," said Louise. 

"Even a room fit for a wedding," Professor 
Billy had once said to her. 

"Certainly. When I marry I shall surely be 
married here." 

"And leave it for a home in Boston?" 

"Leave it for Richard and his wife," she 
answered. 

For Cooley spent much of his time at Acropolis, 
when he came South, and the gossips of the village 
could think of but one reason for his visits to the 
Caldwells. It was even frequently remarked that 
before the winter was gone there would be a 
wedding. 

"We are met to celebrate our victory, even if 
our standard-bearer did fall," was Louise's greet- 
ing to me. 

"A winged victory, and a mere torso at that," 
I replied. 

Professor Billy strode in: "A torso, yes for 
we lost the head; but it's a victory neverthe- 
less. The enemy's situation is like Uncle 
Isaac's predicament after his great revival. He 
had brought scores of sinners to repentance a 
rich harvest of souls; and his thought turned 
to the great addition to his church-member- 
ship that would follow and to the increase of 



THE WINGED VICTORY 331 

contributions. 'All dese souls snatched frum 
de burninV " 

Judge Bevan entered the room and Professor 
Billy's story was cut short rather, postponed; 
for his stories were like the Confederate army: 
they might be overcome by overwhelming num- 
bers but they could never be conquered. 

All the company was soon come a dozen of 
us who had worked together and could play 
together. 

The President of the University had not been 
counted as one of us, and there was a look of sur- 
prise at his presence when we were to celebrate 
the victory, if it were a victory, or at least to con- 
sole me. But as soon as we were seated at supper 
the results of his more intimate interest in Pro- 
fessor Billy became apparent. He, of all men, 
would a year ago have regarded a general prop- 
aganda for universal education as a dangerous 
thing the putting of false hopes in the minds 
of the "populace." 

"Gladstone has truly said," he began, with 
an unusual earnestness, "that no movement for 
the upbuilding of the masses ever starts with the 
classes. Nor can such a movement ever be 
entrusted to the classes. We have gone on too 
long, madam, too long" (turning to Louise, as if 
for permission to unbosom himself), "far too long 
confining our work in this university to the 



332 THE SOUTHERNER 

professional, well-to-do class -- the 'gentlemen/ 
as we call them. We must bring in the sons of 
the people. 

"The incoming Legislature, composed of raw 
countrymen, who know little about fiscal problems, 
may pass ill-considered measures and commit 
extravagances and embarrass the State treasury. 
But, if they shake us up to our full duty in educa- 
ting the whole people, I do not care. Financial 
embarrassments can be remedied by good subse- 
quent management; and it will be a cheap price to 
pay for the waking of the masses from their long 
lethargy. The weakness of our whole system is 
that we have too long considered education as a 
thing fit only for the favoured few." And down 
came his fist on the table. 

"I beg your pardon, madam" (with a bow to 
Louise), "for my earnestness." 

I looked across the table at Professor Billy, 
and he smiled back at me. 

"Mr. President," he asked, "how can we open 
the university wider to 'the sons of the people' ?" 

"It's an atmosphere, an atmosphere, sir. It's 
in the way the people regard the institution. A 
lad from any family may come here now. But 
it has been understood that it is a place chiefly 
for the sons of 'gentlemen/ You can change it. 
Tou" (turning to me) "can change it. It will 
be the work of men of your generation. This 



THE WINGED VICTORY 333 

must be the intellectual centre for all the people 
ALL the people. I beg your pardon again, madam, 
for my earnestness." 

The victory began to be apparent. Who had 
been declared elected was a little matter in com- 
parison with such a change of thought in such 
a man. 

Louise clapped her hands, and Professor Billy 
went on: 

"Uncle Isaac, you see, had brought all these 
sinners into the fold of the redeemed; and, after 
due notice, he held a meeting to admit them into 
church-membership. But although the last sinner 
of 'em had been converted in the Zion Episcopal 
Methodist Church, most of them were found to 
prefer the Baptist Church. ' Dey needn't go off/ 
said the old man in telling me, 'dey needn't go 
off 't all; fer I'd er dip de las' one uv 'em in de 
pond, if dat's what dey 'ferred.' But they did 
go off; and he didn't get the fruits of his victory. 
The old man was very angry at the loss of 
an expected increase in the contributions, and the 
next Sunday he preached a very plain sermon, 
telling how he suffered from such a long walk to 
church. 

"'It's a fur way ter come on a Sunday atter a 
hard week's work, and 'taint cordin' to Scriptur' 
dat de sarvant o' de Mos' High shed allers walk, 
spacially on de hot days o' summer not 'cordin' 



334 THE SOUTHERNER 

ter de Scriptur' what speak of Pontius' Pilot (for 
he went ter cheerch by boat on de Sea o' Galilee), 
and Judas's Chariot (dat was 'fore he denied de 
Lord when de cock crow) ; dey bof had ways ter 
git dar 'thout walkin' in de hot sun; and, ef you 
don' fetch in de converts what I preach to 'pen- 
tance and fergiveness o' sins, you'se got to enlarge 
de collection fer a hoss and wagin fer dis sar- 
vant o' de Mos' High.' 

"The enemy have the 'victory,' but their 
Legislature has joined the other church, and 
how Tom Warren's administration is going to 
get to church on hot Sunday mornings remains 
to be seen. The Legislature holds the contri- 
bution-box. 

"I have a list of the members of the House," 
he went on, "with a memorandum about the 
educational record of every one of them but three or 
four; and I have letters here from fifty of them. 
A new day is come for the public schools. All 
these are with us, as far as they understand our 
programme." 

The company cheered. Louise proposed the 
health of the "defeated victor," and the old 
President seemed the best pleased man among us. 

"A real victory in defeat, sir. Such a death, 
I hope, has no sting in the most glorious resur- 
rection that will follow." 

"We even won Acropolis," said Richard. "The 



THE WINGED VICTORY 335 

village voted for a public school --the first that 
was ever authorized in the shadow of the Univer- 
sity. Mr. President, we will put you on the local 
School Board. 

"I shall be proud, sir." 

Very early after supper the President and Mrs. 
Bevan went home. 

As soon as they were out of hearing, we began 
to reconstruct the university. We should have 
several travelling professors, who should supervise 
instruction in certain practical studies at various 
places, and who should, in effect, be educational 
missionaries. We should have departments with 
trained men to direct road-building and country and 
town sanitation; we should train teachers for the 
public schools; we should have short courses of 
study which grown men might attend and learn 
something about farm-management and high- 
bred stock, and better fruit-growing. (The apple- 
crop of the State will one day be of greater value 
than the whole agricultural product of every sort 
now is, and why should this not be a subject of 
university study and experiment ?) 

"Yes," said Louise, "and presently we'll have 
women trained here who by some means, which 
Professor Bain will devise, shall bring a new dis- 
pensation in the country kitchens." 

Nothing is so fascinating nor so easy as to sit 



336 THE SOUTHERNER 

by a comfortable wood fire and in a glow of right- 
eousness re-fashion the world. 

"And we shall make a state-wide organization 
of women to visit and to decorate and encourage 
the country schools, and we'll make it fashionable 
by electing the young wife of the Governor as the 
President. We'll -- we'll - 

"Will you explain this?" asked Cooley, with a 
logical wish to bring us to earth. "Miss Caldwell 
drove ten miles over a wretched road to put a few 
pictures and a map in a country school-house. 
The ladies of the neighbourhood met her there. 
She explained the pictures to the children and 
was imprudent enough to remark that I had given 
the map. The school-mistress, thinking to show 
her appreciation, wrote a letter to The Marl- 
borough Globe; and the Globe remarked that it 
was all very well for our ladies to take an interest 
in the 'free' schools, but that we could procure 
all the maps we needed without receiving alms 
from Boston. 

"Within a week an old lady in New England 
gave five thousand dollars to the Negro college 
in Marlborough. Then The Globe published a 
list of such gifts to Negro schools in the State and 
in a blank space in the adjacent column reminded 
us that no money given to education by * North- 
ern philanthropists' had gone to white schools 
in our State. 'Thus,' it said, 'New England 



THE WINGED VICTORY 337 

keeps the colour-line in evidence but expects us 
to forget it. ' ' 

"You miss the point, Cooley," Professor Billy 
explained. 'The most pious fisherman will 
become profane if he catches a very little catfish, 
for its fins are too sharp for so little meat. But, if 
the catfish be big enough, it's worth being pricked 
for. Try us with big aims, and you'll land 
Major Thorne with docile gratitude. " 

" Uncle Isaac has anticipated you in his request 
for a large gift. He heard Senator Barker's 
speech in which he said: 'Educate niggers, sir? 
Why, if this wild educational mania continues, 
our Yankee friends will come down and build a 
nigger college on every hill on every hill in the 
State a nigger college, to be taught by social- 
equality white men.' Uncle Isaac remembered 
that, and the first time he saw me after the elec- 
tion, he said: 

"'Boss, ef you'se ready ter begin ter buiP dem 
colleges, de hill t'er side o' Bethesda is de bes' 
one in dis neighbourhood." 

Richard had been putting the burning logs in 
better shape on the fire, and in his laughter he 
ran gaily across the floor. Professor Billy fol- 
lowed him and they began to dance. And we all 
danced. The rugs were removed and an im- 
promptu ball followed our Utopia-building and 
our Negro stories. 



338 THE SOUTHERNER 

When we ceased, Professor Billy gave a clog- 
dance till his face was ruddy and streaming. 
While we were applauding and laughing, the 
maid came in and said that there were gentlemen 
in the hall a number of them, students - 
who wished to see me. 

"Let them come in," said Louise, and she 
met them and welcomed them. The floor was 
still vibrating, I dare say, from Professor Billy's 
dancing and his flushed face showed all its freckles. 

"Professor Bain has been somewhat exercised," 
she remarked. The boys smiled with a wise look, 
for they had seen the whole performance from 
the hall. 

Then a real gravity came over us. For these 
young fellows had a spokesman who had prepared 
a pretty, formal speech to make to me. It was 
a speech of approval and of regret that I had not 
been elected. Most of these boys had been in my 
classes; and this was a brave and beautiful thing 
for them to do. 

Their little ceremony over, they felt more at 
home, and they became for a time part of our 
celebrating company. There was much talk about 
the development of the university by a more lib- 
eral policy of instruction; and, when they had gone, 
someone began to recite the creed that I had 
made in my campaign speeches, article by article 
in turn: 



THE WINGED VICTORY 339 

"/ believe in this land our land whose in- 
finite variety of beauty and riches we do not yet 
know. Wake up, old Land! 

66 1 believe in these people our people whose 
development may be illimitable. Wake up, my 
People ! 

"I believe in the continuous improvement of 
human society, in the immortality of our democracy, 
in the rightmindedness of the masses. Wake up, 
old Commonwealth! 9 ' 

Then we made definite plans (having for a 
space turned Professor Billy from his buffoonery) 
for the enlargement of the Club, for judicious 
instruction of the Legislature (President Bevan 
will address it on some suitable occasion) ; the wife 
of the Governor would be elected President of the 
Women's School Association; a suitable person 
should be sent, if possible, by a Legislative com- 
mittee to report on the best school-practice in 
other States; perhaps Superintendent Craybill 
would call a great meeting at the capital of all the 
county superintendents of schools if a way were 
found to pay their expenses; Senator Barker 
must be informed as early as possible of "the 
wishes of the people"; we should have educational 
maps made of the State showing all the impor- 
tant facts about the schools; we should - 

"What we call education," said Louise, who led 
us all in plan-making, "is a petrifying process. 



340 THE SOUTHERNER 

When men wish to perpetuate their stagnation, 
they organize it into a 'system' and call it 'edu- 
cation/ and endow institutions and engage men 
who lead easy lives, safe from struggle, to train 
young men who in turn wish to lead lives safe 
from struggle, to perpetuate the stagnation of 
their predecessors. 

"We learn, and we can teach only by action. 
This campaign cost us only one casualty and it 
moved the whole State further than it had before 
moved in a life-time. And we find ourselves 
only by action. That is the way we found one 
another. That is the way we found the President 
of the University and enabled him to find himself 
- noble action." 

"And such a direct wrestling with the people," 
I added, "is the most instructive experience that 
a man can have in a democracy. I have thrown 
to the dogs all the social and economic theories 
that I had before; and I now have a better measure 
than books had given me to test my knowledge 
by. I have a fund of experience and a point of 
view that develops a man's common sense. And, 
as for an interest in one's fellows you cannot 
come thus face to face with thousands of honest, 
earnest people without knowing that to serve them 
is the keenest joy and the highest privilege in life." 

"And the Negro," said our Lady of Battle, 
going to the heart of the whole matter, "cannot 



THE WINGED VICTORY 341 

longer be made an instrument to stifle free speech 
and free opinion. Even a senator who has been 
the shadow of a party's obliquity on our political 
dial will soon learn that." 

She was soon showing Cooley (for the rest of us 
had seen them) five pictures that she had drawn 
which she called "our history in five chapters." 
They were pictures of Lowassee Falls in the river 
nearby at periods of about half a century. 

First, in the year 1700. A trapper and an 
Indian were looking at the river tumbling over the 
rapids. Man had not touched this virgin world 
except to seek game. 

Second, in 1750. There was a hut by the river 
and a patch of corn. The white pioneer had 
settled there. 

Third, in 1800. Iron had been discovered near- 
by and there was a furnace and forges an iron- 
working shop where brawny men of English and 
Scotch stock had built a flourishing industry. 
Their wares of iron were sold far and wide. And 
the river now turned a mill. 

Fourth, in 1850. Slavery had come. White 
men had ceased to work with their hands. The 
iron-works had become a ruin. Only the corn- 
mill had life in this desolate picture, and slaves 
were waiting for the grist that their masters had 
sent to mill. Far down the river endless cotton- 
fields extended, worked and wasted by slaves. 



342 THE SOUTHERNER 

But the once busy place at the falls was in decay, 
the mechanical arts neglected. 

Fifth and last the present time. The waters 
of the falls were turned to use, and white men were 
excavating the foundations of the old iron-work 
to build a cotton-mill. 

'There," said she, "is the rise of industry, the 
dignity of labour and their decay and their begin- 
ning again. You may trace the changes in 
Southern fibre and character in these five sketches, 
and they show us our way." 

While she and Cooley were talking over these 
chapters of our history at one end of the big 
room, Professor Billy said to me: 

"Is Cooley enlisting for life under that banner, 
eh ? Do you suppose so ?" 

"What do you suppose ?" I asked. 

Then Miss Bevan came up to us, and she surely 
ought to be an authority on such a subject. We 
asked her opinion. 

"If it were a matter to regret, I should fear it," 
she said. 

Professor Billy seemed anxious not only to find 
an answer to his question but also, it seemed 
to me, eager to bring such a match about. But 
our conversation was presently broken off be- 
cause Richard came within hearing. The ladies 
soon put on their wraps and the subject had 
to be postponed. 



THE WINGED VICTORY 343 

Professor Billy strode to the middle of the room 
and in the manner of the grand oratory bellowed 
forth: 

" Ladies and Gentlemen: The sun in all his 
majestic course does not shine on a happier com- 
pany than the chivalry and beauty (the ladies, 
God bless 'em) here gathered. If Olympus sent 
its godly denizens to dwell below, they would seek 
our clime and be content. 

"Thus, Ladies and Gentlemen, under these hos- 
pitable auspices, have we celebrated our vic- 
tory in defeat, and buried the dead and raised him 
again to life. For we are not conquered but only 
overcome by overwhelming numbers. Sir, the 
brave cannot suffer defeat in our vocabulary." 

And as he bade our Lady of Battle good night, 
he said in a stage whisper: 

"And we are a hospitable people. Lady, be 
kind to the stranger that is within our gates/' 



CHAPTER XXVI 
THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 

THE night before the Honourable Thomas 
Carter Warren was to be inaugurated 
Governor of the Commonwealth, the trains that 
came into Marlborough were loaded with "dele- 
gations" from the four points of the compass. 
All during the afternoon, brass bands playing 
patriotic airs were marching up the street from 
the railway station, some preceding military com- 
panies, others white men's clubs, others young 
men's leagues, and others miscellaneous crowds 
from different enterprising towns, all come to the 
inauguration. In addition, for instance, to the 
white men's club and the young men's league 
from Edinboro, was a group of "E. E.'s," who 
combined an advertisement of the town with a 
patriotic display. 

It was a pleasant night with just a touch of win- 
ter, such a night as often comes in our land of 
exquisite temperatures, when it is a joy to 
walk out. The crowds went, of course, after 
supper to the big parlours of the hotel, where 
the retiring Governor, the new Governor, Senator 

344 



THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 345 

Barker, and other distinguished men held an 
informal reception. 

During the early hours of the night, you would 
have seen there, at some time, everybody in the 
State who was anybody, from the President of the 
University to old Birdcastle, the librarian. The 
doors stood open; there was no ceremony; any- 
body who chose walked in. Surely we have some 
of the qualities of an ideal American democracy. 
There were, perhaps, three thousand visitors in 
the hotel, men who came from the mountain 
counties, and men who came from the low coun- 
ties; there were, besides, the members of the 
General Assembly, which was in session; there 
were judges from the highest court of the state; 
there were preachers and teachers and editors and 
business men all as dwellers in one neighbour- 
hood. Those of the same age usually addressed 
one another by their given names. There was the 
familiarity of neighbourly residence, and yet 
courtesy. 

One group was exchanging reminiscences of the 
war; another was laughing in great guffaws at 
some wag's latest story; another was discussing 
business affairs it was a neighbourly party; and 
band after band, from sheer excess of good 
feeling, took its turn in the street to play. 

The next morning, the whole little city was 
decorated. There were more flags than had ever 



346 THE SOUTHERNER 

been seen there before State flags, a few Con- 
federate flags, and flags of the United States. All 
these were used in decorating the platform that 
had been built in the Capitol Square, where the 
inauguration was to take place. 

And during the morning still bigger crowds 
came more military companies, more young 
men's leagues, more white men's clubs, more 
firemen, more veterans, more organizations of 
every sort, till the town was packed as nobody 
had ever before seen it packed. 

At the Old Place, Uncle Ephraim knew noth- 
ing of all this preparation. They did not receive 
any newspaper there, for now there were no white 
folks on the plantation. He had long had a plan 
to go to see young Mr. Warren and talk to him 
about Julia; and this purpose had grown stronger 
since the old man's visit to the great school for 
coloured people, where they "fotch de young fo'ks 
up ter hones' wuk." 

"I ain' got much longer ter stay here," he'd say 
to himself, "and 'tain't gwine ter do ter leave dat 
li'l white nigger gal here a'ter I'm gone. T'others 
kin take care uv deirselves. But dat li'l white gal, 
she's diff'ent; and I gwine ter see what kin be done 
'bout dat. She don' seem ter 'blong wid de balance 
on 'em. She stay roun' de house here and call me 
'Un' Ephum,' an' ax me ques'tuns jes' lak she 
b'long ter me. 'Tain't gwine t' do, when I'se gone." 



THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 347 

And so the old man had hitched up his mule, 
and with Lissa and Julia had driven to town. 

He went to Jerry, the blacksmith's shop, to 
leave his wagon and mule, as he always did. 

"Big day in town, Unc' Ephum," said Jerry. 

"I tho't dere mus' be someth' ne'er gwine on. 
I heers a ban' a-playin' down de street ain't 
dat er brass ban' ? And der seems a pow'rful lot 
er fo'ks come ter town." 

"Don't you know de new Guv'nor gwin' ter be 
'naugerated ter-day ?" 

" Dat's it is it ? No, I hadn't heerd it. Jerry, 
d'you spose' de new Guv'nor kin be seen ter-day ?" 

" 'Couse he kin. Ever'body done come jes' 
ter see 'im. Dat is, de white fo'ks has. Dat's 
what de day fur." 

"Can't no colo'd fo'ks see him ter-day?" 

"I 'spose so if any ob 'em goes." 

Uncle Ephraim kept his own counsel; but he 
called to Lissa and Julia to come on. They 
would go down into the city now. 

Before they had come near to the Capitol Square, 
they became part of a great throng which was try- 
ing to push its way into the yard. There were 
military guards everywhere, trying to keep the 
crowd in proper shape, and to leave space in the 
middle of the street for the procession. Everybody 
was in good humour, but everybody was pushing 
one's neighbour and being pushed by another. 



348 THE SOUTHERNER 

Uncle Ephraim thought he saw more room 
across the street, and he called to Lissa and Julia 
to follow him. He escaped the guard, who with 
a smile looked at the venerable Negro trying to run ; 
but the guard put his gun before Lissa. 

"No; you can't cross there." 

She pointed to the old man, who was beckon- 
ing to her. 

"Never mind, he's all right; you can't cross, I 
tell you," and he pushed her back. Uncle 
Ephraim tried to re-cross the street, but a guard on 
that side said: 

"I reckon not, old man. This side's good 
enough for us. Move on, move on, if you want 
to get up to the Square." 

By that time the procession had started from the 
Governor's Mansion at the other end of the wide 
avenue. First, there was the chief marshal and 
his staff; then General Grissell, in the gaudy 
uniform of the Commander of the State Guards; 
then a mounted bodyguard of cavalry; then a 
carriage trimmed in white, and drawn by four 
white horses, in which sat the retiring Governor 
and the incoming one. The next carriage was 
assigned to Mrs. Warren, the new Governor's 
mother, and Senator Barker sat with her. Her 
carriage also was trimmed in white and was 
drawn by two white horses; and then the 
Governor's Guard, with gorgeous new uni- 



THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 349 

forms, marched behind, in command of Colonel 
Talcott. 

As these moved slowly forward while the band 
played the State hymn. The vast crowd threw 
up its hats and cheered -- cheer after cheer. The 
applause rolled up the street far in advance of the 
procession, and men cried themselves hoarse 
before they saw any notable person coming. 

Behind these came carriages with judges and 
other state officers and distinguished citizens, and so 
long a row of militia companies and clubs of various 
sorts that the Governor had reached the Capitol 
Square before the end of the procession had started. 

Uncle Ephraim had been pushed by the crowd 
not clearly knowing where he was going - 
to a standing place as near as any one "of the 
general public" could hope to get. And so had 
Lissa and Julia on the other side. 

An hour passed or more. The old Gov- 
ernor, the new Governor and his aide, the Chief 
Justice and the Bishop were now seated on the 
stand; and the bands were playing all about, while 
the guards were keeping the way open, the best 
they could, for every club and organization to find 
the place reserved for it. 

And at last the old Governor arose, and every- 
body was quiet. He turned to the Bishop, who 
came forward and offered a prayer, which nobody 
could hear. The bands played again. 



350 THE SOUTHERNER 

Lissa and Julia had by this time come even 
nearer to the stand. They were supposed, by the 
men standing about them, to be white country 
folk, and they invited them, inch by inch, to 
move forward. 

The Chief Justice, with his gown on, arose and 
read the oath of office, and the Honourable Thomas 
Carter Warren took it, and became Governor of 
the Commonwealth. 

The solemn ceremony over, the judge bowed 
and sat down, and the new Governor stood facing 
the multitude. No man so young had ever before 
come to the high office, and a swelling happiness 
arose in his heart. The vast crowd, extending 
almost as far as he could see, were shouting and 
waving hats and handkerchiefs and flags. 

"We're here fifty thousand strong," shouted 
a giant's voice; and 

"We'll see you through," answered another. 

He turned toward the renewed cheering that 
was now heard far on the left, and his mother had 
risen and was standing by him. She kissed him, 
and the cheering was then begun again; and more 
bands struck up " Dixie." 

Far back on the platform sat his betrothed, and 
Senator Barker twitted her for not following his 
mother's example. She blushed, and the com- 
pany saw her, and a shout went up for her to 
appear. 



THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 351 

" The bride! The bride!" And she was at last 
obliged to rise and bow. 

The Grand Marshal at last came forward and 
called for silence. From sheer excess of enthus- 
iasm, it pleased the crowd for a while to defy him 
with renewed applause; and he and the Governor 
could do nothing but stand and smile. 

"Dat's de Gov'nor see de Gov'nor!" said 
Lissa to Julia; "de young man dar wid his han' 
raised and de black co't on and de flower in his 
co't. Ain' he han'some, Julia ?" 

Uncle Ephraim did not know where his wards 
were. But he held his hand to his ear to catch 
the sounds from the platform. The Governor 
had at last begun to speak. 

"Now he gwine magnify/' said Uncle Ephraim 
to himself, and he listened still more intently. 

The Inaugural began on a high note of praise of 
the old Commonwealth and our people --"the 
happiest good people under the high arch of 
heaven." 

' There are others richer," he went on, "but 
none more hospitable. The sun does not shine 
on a happier land, or on a people with more of the 
ancient virtues. (Applause. ) Now that we shall be 
forever free from the danger of Negro supremacy 
our cup of happiness will be full -- full to the brim. 
(Prolonged applause.) We wish our coloured 
fellow-citizens nothing but peace and happiness 



352 THE SOUTHERNER 

among us. We are their best friends. But this is 
a white man's country -- discovered by white 
men, cleared by white men, settled by white men, 
owned by white men, and white men must rule it!" 

The applause stopped the speaker. Uncle 
Ephraim seemed surprised at its tumultuousness. 
" 'Cou'se dat's so. Dat's been so all de time - 
'bout der white fo'ks. Did dese men 'spec' de 
niggers gwine git all de Ian', somehow or n'er ?" 

" And this cause, to which, under God, I dedicate 
myself to-day in your presence, means the safety of 
our hearths and our homes, and the supremacy 
of the Anglo-Saxon forever. This is not Africa. 
This is the United States of America and our 
beloved Southland. 

'To our coloured friends I say: 'You will 
prosper under our rule. The Negro will prosper 
under our rule. You will not be deluded by false 
friends, who would substitute a book for a plow. 
And our land has need of you; but it needs you 
in the place where you belong." 

The Governor said many other things, of course, 
but it was hard to hear him, after the standing 
crowd had begun to be restless. 

"A great oration," they all said, when he was 
done. The cheering and the music now stretched 
itself down the avenues as the crowd melted away. 
Many remained near the State House, where the 
new governor was going at once into his office, 



THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 353 

and would shake hands with all the people who 
should come in. "I'm Governor of all the people 
alike," he had said, "the rich and the poor, the 
white and the black." 

Uncle Ephraim had almost forgotten his errand. 
But now it occurred to him that he might, after 
all, speak with the Governor. He had concluded 
that Lissa and Julia would find their way back 
to Jerry's shop, where they would eat their dinner 
from the basket, and feed the mule, and wait 
for him. 

The old man lingered and saw the Governor 
go into the State House with the Senator and the 
men in gold lace, and a large crowd pushed in 
after them. He came nearer the door, waiting 
his turn. 

There were very few coloured men in the crowd, 
and Uncle Ephraim's large figure and venerable 
appearance attracted much attention. Now and 
then someone would say to him: "Goin' in to see 
the Governor, Uncle are you? That's right." 

"You're the right sort, ol' man. The Gover- 
nor'll be glad to see you." 

"Uncle, did you vote the Democratic ticket?" 

By this time he was in the hall. By the Gov- 
ernor's door there stood a man in uniform, who was 
keeping the line in order so that only one per- 
son could go in at a time. 

Uncle Ephraim stepped aside. "I'll wait till 



354 THE SOUTHERNER 

dey's all gone." He stood there patiently for an 
hour or more. Passers by made remarks to him, 
some of them jocular, but all respectful. Now 
and then he would hear one man say to another: 

"That's an old-timer for you. See that old 
darkey?" 

"Say, Uncle, it's a great day for white folks 
like you and me ain't it ?" 

"Old man, why don' you go in? The Gov- 
ernor'll have a good word for you." 

"Now that kin' of an old fellow's all right. No 
demnition foolishness 'bout him, I bet you." 

At last the way seemed clear. A few men were 
rushing in and out, but the crowd was gone. Now 
he'd go in. Just as he got to the door, the Gov- 
ernor was coming out. 

"Yer sarvant, suh," said Uncle Ephraim, bow- 
ing low. 

"Glad to see you, old man," and the Governor 
held out his hand. 

'Yes, suh, I come ter town ter see you in 
partic'lar." 

"That was very kind of you. I appreciate that. 
I wish more of the coloured people had come." 

'Yes, suh, but 'twas er partic'lar matter dat 
I come about." 

"What is it, Uncle?" 

"A sort er personal confear'nce, if you please, 
suh." 



THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 355 

"Uncle, I can't talk personal matters to-day. 
You must come and see me some other day." 

"I don' believes yer knows me, suh. No? 
I's Eph'um what lives out at ol' Mars' Nick 
Worth's place 'fore he died." 

" Yes, Uncle Ephraim, I know you now. Come 
and see me any day." 

'Yes, suh --yes, suh; but kin I bring dat li'l 
gal along what now is growin' up and I'se gittin' 
mighty oP ?" 

The Governor had walked along the hall, and 
by this time was near the front door. 

A messenger opened it for him. 

"Come alone, Uncle Ephraim," he called back 
at the old man as cheerfully as he could; and he 
remarked to his waiting aide: "An old nigger 
that I've known all my life." 

"Good God! John, I'm tired," he said, with a 
heavy sigh, as he stepped into his carriage at the 
street, to be driven home with little time to eat 
something and to prepare for the evening. 

For the day was to be a Great Day indeed for 
Tom Warren; and it had seemed fit to crown it 
with his marriage. St. Peter's was now repaired 
and decorated as it had not been for many a year. 
At six o'clock the wedding was to be there; then 
a supper at the home of the bride. She was the 
daughter of Chief-Justice Branch, and, next to 
my cousin Margaret, the most beautiful young 



356 THE SOUTHERNER 

woman in Marlborough ; and the young couple 
were, of course, to receive the society of the whole 
State that evening at the Inaugural Ball at the 
Governor's Mansion. 

His mother met him at the door and embraced 
him long, and shed happy tears. 

"My son, your dear father looks down on you 
with pride to-day." 

Then, presently, after she had gazed at him for 
a moment: "Tom, you are weary. It has been 
a great strain. Come, eat something as soon as 
you can. You seem very tired. Perhaps you'll 
have time to lie down for a moment." 

Uncle Ephraim, in the meantime, had gone to 
Jerry's blacksmith shop, where he found Lissa 
and Julia, almost hopeless of his coming, sitting 
in the wagon eating their dinner. 

There sat with them a young, light Negro who 
wore a long black coat evidently a preacher; 
and he was eating his full share out of the basket. 

As an introduction of him, Lissa said: "Unc' 
Eph'um, dis gem'man, who is a preacher, is a-col- 
lectin' money fur de heathens." 

"Yes, suh," said the preacher, "whare'er I goes 
I 'members dem dat are in de outer darkness, an' I 
gits what I can fur de heathens." 

The old man's mind was deeply occupied with 
more immediate things. Besides, he didn't like 



THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 357 

this yellow, glib man, dressed so finely eating 
his dinner. 

The fellow went on: "You is a oP man in 
Israel, suh." 

"I'se ol' 'nough," said Uncle Ephraim, "but 
I'se allers lived in dese parts. I ain't neber been 
ter Israel, suh. An' oP Marster lived here afore 



me." 



"Our only master, brother, is our Master in 
Heaven." 

'Yes, dat's whar oP Marster gone. I knows 
'cose he's in Heaven." 

" But I spoke of Our Lord, de Saviour of man- 
kin'. He is our Master." 

'Yes, Mars' Jesus you mean. 'Cose I knows 
Him." 

"It is for those who do not know Him for 
the heathens in the outer darkness, that I was 
speakin' ter de lady." 
The old man's patience was gone. 
"Young man, let de heathens git da'r own 
money. I ain't got none ter spar'." 

"But ter give to them is to give ter de Lord." 
"Let de Lawd mek His own money, den." 
"Yes, brother, but de Lord -- He do not - 
" He kin mek it, ef He want any. Didn' He mek 
wine outen water ? And, ef He kin do dat, He kin 
make money outen some'in or ne'r, if He need enny 
small change. You go 'long 'bout your bus'ness." 



358 THE SOUTHERNER 

As the preacher walked away, Jerry said: 
"Unc' Eph'um, you don* set much sto' by dese 
young preachers what comes roun' de ladies, 
does yer ?" 

:< Yaller, long-coat town nigger/' said the old man. 

"Or maybe you don' give much ter de church ?" 
said Jerry with a smile; for Ephraim was notor- 
iously careful with his dollars. 

"Ain' got long 'nough ter stay here now, ol' 
as I is, to git no profit on it." 

"Well, did yer hear de Guv'nor?" 

"Yes, I heerd him." 

"Mammy say he a mighty good-lookin' man," 
said Julia. 

"Good-lookin' or no, der ain' no sich Guv'nors 
now as dey was in de ole days, when dey didn't 
talk 'bout de col'red man dis, de col'red man 
dat. Seems ter me dey mighty scar't 'bout de 
niggers. In de ole days it was de Nunion, de 
Nunion forever, long 'fore you was born." 

"What is der in politics for a col'red man, 
Unc' Ephum?" asked Jerry. 

"Nothin'I Not a hill o' 'taters, nor a year o' 
corn, nor a stalk o' cotton." 

"Dey ain't gwine let de col'red fo'ks vote no 
mo' is dey ?" 

"Dey ain't vote much as 'twas. Tears to me 
dey don' care nothin' sure enough 'bout de col'ed 
fo'ks dese days." 



THE GOVERNOR'S INAUGURATION 359 

"Is de. anythin' in de talk 'bout puttin' 'em 
back in slavery de young 'uns, I mean ?" 

" How kin dey do dat ? Don' I own my Ian' ? 
Who's gwine ter take it frum me ? Who's gwine 
ter say I must wuk for him ? Ef dey put dese 
triflin' town niggers in de chain-gang or in slabery 
dat's all right." 

" But I don' lak," the old man went on in a sort 
of reverie "I don' lak so much talk 'bout de 
nigger and de white man. Godamighty, Jerry, 
ain't we gittin' 'long wid one er'ner same as we 
allers is ? Nothin' ain' happen. But all of a 
suddent dey all falls a-talkin' 'bout de white man 
and de Ian' - - makin' a mighty 'do 'bout nothin'. 
An' dey don' give no schools lak dat un I seed, 
whar de fetch up de young uns to hones' wuk. 
All mighty quair ter me, Jerry." 

As they drove home, the old man said once in a 
while to himself: "Haf ter come agin. I scared 
it gwine ter be bad times some o' dese days fur de 
col'ed people." 

There had not been in my day I dare say there 
never had been such a gorgeous wedding in 
old St. Peter's. Anna Branch was married to 
the young Governor in the wedding-gown of 
her great-grandmother; and every family in the 
Commonwealth that went back to Revolu- 
tionary times had its sons and daughters there. 



360 THE SOUTHERNER 

It was a memorable day in the social annals of 
Marlborough. 

That night, while I was dancing at the Inaugural 
Ball with Margaret, she reminded me that the next 
big event in St. Peter's would be her wedding. 

"May you be the happiest bride ever married 
there!" 

''Wasn't Anna's wedding perfectly grand, 
though?" she said, and then whispered: "But 
cousin, honest now, isn't it grander some day to 
be a Bishop than to be a Governor ?" 

'Yes," I said; "a Bishop holds his job longer." 

As I came away, General Grissell, Commander 
of the Militia of the Commonwealth, stood in the 
hall near the door of the stuffy little ballroom, 
in a uniform more gorgeous than any Field Mar- 
shal of any great army wore on the day of his 
greatest triumph. With rotund and radiant satis- 
faction, he waved his hand toward the couples 
that were coming out, and said in his pompous, 
sonorous, swelling way: 

"Such a galaxy of beauty and chivalry, sir, can- 
not be found in any other capital of the world - 
here or abroad not a single one, sirl" 



CHAPTER XXVII 

THE FORTRESS OF DESPAIR 

IN OUR climate we go and come the same 
paths, day after day, year after year; and 
to go a new road is the thing of all things 
that we do seldomest. Although I had walked 
and ridden and driven about the capital most 
of my life and had come and gone and gone and 
come, I had never been on the road that leads 
due south from the city. True, the southern 
part of the town was unattractive, for the ill- 
kept streets dwindled at last into lanes and paths 
that ran down to the vegetable gardens of the 
Negro women who sold their " truck" in the 
market. Just beyond the little stream and its 
valley the highest hill in the region rose, crowned 
with a great fortress-like building of brick. I 
now had a reason to go there. 

But it takes us long to make a plan in our 
Southern world, longer after it is made to decide 
to carry it out, then a good deal of discussion or 
consideration when it shall be carried out, and 
finally a long time of preparation to carry it out. 

As I went along an unfamiliar street near the 

361 



362 THE SOUTHERNER 

very edge of the city, I came to the Roman Catholic 
chapel. Yes, I knew there was such a chapel. I 
knew Father Murphy, but he lived and worked 
in another world than mine. And so here it 
is, I said to myself, in this obscure street that 
his altar and his place of labour are. I looked 
in the door, for it was open, of course. Unlike 
the other churches, it was always open. A taper 
was burning on the altar, and I saw several 
forms bent in prayer. 

I went in and sat down on a seat near the 
door. It was somewhat dark there, and at first 
I did not see a kneeling figure on the seat just in 
front of me. It was a woman muttering a prayer. 

As she moaned louder, she spoke her words 
more distinctly and I heard: 

"O Merciful Mother of Jesus, I ain't a white 
'oman and I ain't a black 'oman. Save my 
chile in de deep waters, O Merciful Mother of 
Jesus. She is whiter'n I is. In de deep waters, 
oh o o om Merciful Mother of God." 

That was the only white man's church in the 
city into which a heavy-laden black woman 
would or could go for the unburdening of her 
sorrow, and here was a soul so exposing its inner- 
most tragedy that I felt ashamed to hear it longer. 

Merciful Mother of God. 

In a little while I reached the asylum. About 
this great fortress of despair, there were large 



THE FORTRESS OF DESPAIR 363 

grounds in front well-kept drives and shrubbery, 
and on either side and behind fields or gardens 
where the harmless patients were led to work 
or for exercise. It was a pleasant winter after- 
noon, as mild as a Northern May. At a distance 
I saw women walking and marching, perhaps 
playing some outdoor game, and still further 
groups of men were moving a pile of bricks in 
wheelbarrows with slow, monotonous motions. 

When I entered the building and told my 
errand, one of the young physicians became my 
guide. We walked down a long hall where 
women sat with sad, blank faces; and, when we 
came to a cross-hall, he stopped and said: 

"By the way, here's a lady whom I think you 
know." 

There stood by the large window, in a travelling 
dress, with a travelling bag in her hand and a 
hat on, a gentle, white-haired woman, gazing 
down the road. 

"Are you going to leave us, Mrs. Caldwell?" 
asked my companion. 

"Yes," she said, in a hopeful, beautiful voice, 
"the Colonel is coming for me presently"; and 
she turned to the window again and continued 
her watch. 

"She does that every afternoon of her quiet 
moods; for every afternoon the Colonel is coming 
for her every afternoon all these blank years 



364 THE SOUTHERNER 

since the war; and there she stands patiently 
till an attendant leads her to her room and takes 
off her hat and gloves and puts her cloak and 
bag away. Then she says with resignation: 

"The Colonel will come to-morrow." 

O Merciful Mother of God. 

Then we went into the field where the men 
were at work. 

"We'll find him here, I think/' said my 
companion. 

We stopped and watched the slow procession 
of men, each with a wheelbarrow. They would 
go to the end of the path and empty the bricks 
on the ground; then back again, in a slow, 
sad procession, for another load. Workmen, 
apparently sane, loaded the wheelbarrows for 
them. 

We saw one man coming with his wheelbarrow 
turned upside down. 

"That's he." 

"Captain Bob," said my companion, "why 
don't you turn your wheelbarrow over? That 
isn't the way to do it." 

Captain Logan stopped, put the wheelbarrow 
down and assumed an oratorical attitude: 

"Sir, you must think I'm a lunatic. It's you 
that's the fool ha! ha! If I turned it over, 
don't you know that that ballox-box stuffer there 
would put bricks in it? 



THE FORTRESS OF DESPAIR 365 

"Hello, Captain," he went on in a moment, 
bowing to me. "I say, Approach! I will 
inform you. 

"It was thus and so: 'Sambo,' says I. 'Yes, 
Master,' says he. 'You infernal fool,' says I, 
'don't you know you are free and a gentleman?' 

"Well, they cheated his damned black head off, 
his rollin' white eyes out, his flabby wide nose 
flat they cheated the very wool off his head. 

"'Go to Africa, you cuffy,' then says I; 'you 
aren't worth saving.' 

"And they babbled 'Nigger,' 'Nigger,' 'Nigger,' 
for fifty years and the nigger came, and the 
nigger multiplied, and the nigger stayed and the 
master went nigger-mad. Understand again, sir, 
saw nothing but nigger, said nothing but nigger 
not worth saving; and the nigger got the 
'taters and the 'possum and the old gentleman 
went crazy, got nothin' but a wild brain and a 
loose tongue." 

"Captain Bob- 

"Sir, you wait till I give you leave to speak. I 
have the platform now. Don't interrupt me 
again, and steal the election. 

: 'The black brute then choked the sense out 
of him, left his mind emaciated, with its tongue 
hanging out, like a dog's the mind of the 
whole people with its red tongue hanging out, 
slobbering lies. Understand?" 



366 THE SOUTHERNER 

"Captain Bob!" my companion cried again. 
' ' Don't you know this gentleman ? " 

"Yes, that's Captain Hoppergrass. I've met 
you before, Captain. When I was Governor, 
what office was it you wanted ? Don't recall ? 

"Well, I now go about my business." And he 
took his inverted wheelbarrow and went on. 

Merciful Mother of God. 

The fortress took its toll of us as the more kindly 
grave did also. 






CHAPTER XXVIII 

THE INTERRUPTIONS OF HISTORY 

AUAIN months went by, perhaps years for 
all I know, for I cannot now be sure 
without looking up dates, and we care little 
for dates in our climate. Why should we ? So 
far as we know, time is inexhaustible. We are, 
therefore, not fussy because it passes. This 
admirable trait of taking the passage of time 
calmly, as some other traits of ours, has been 
misunderstood and even construed to our discredit. 
But I cannot now stop to correct so venerable an 
error, and our enemies may continue to make the 
most of it while I go on with this chronicle. 

Well, it was after the events already told that 
I found myself again engaged on that History, 
which has been as prolific a dam of interruptions 
as I ever bestrode. My mother in her gentle 
way made my writing difficult, though it would 
have given her infinite pain if she had known 
it. She would come into my writing room just 
when my narrative had begun to flow, with so 
welcome an interruption that any task would 
properly have to wait upon her affection. 

367 



368 THE SOUTHERNER 

She was very happy during these years. Bar- 
bara had come home from China, matured and 
calm after her experience, and she did not care 
to return. She found exercise for her helpful 
impulses at home. There were more mill villages 
now and she seemed to know all the women and 
the children in them, and she was a minister of joy 
to them. 

A mill population becomes peculiar. Set off 
from other life about it, all having the same 
experience, all living under the same conditions - 
mechanical conditions at that they become 
a fixed class. This gave my brother much concern, 
and at Barbara's suggestion he had worked out 
a plan of inducing some mill families to go on 
farms and he brought other families who needed 
the discipline of mechanical regularity from farms, 
to take their places. 

But, as I was saying, Barbara led a busy life 
that gave her helpful nature contentment; and 
my mother was made happy by her coming back 
to such normal work. And her grandchildren 
were now her particular joy, for she was come 
to that beautiful stage of white hair and immacu- 
late caps and gardening joys and freedom from 
care that becomes early grandmotherhood. 

I only was on her mind. I was her first-born. 
"So very like your father," she remarked, till 
we fell into the habit of smiling when she said so, 



THE INTERRUPTIONS OF HISTORY 369 

and she unsuccessfully tried to leave off the 
habit. Charles would say to his little boy, when 
mother fondled him, " So very like your father," and 
get a slap from her on the cheek for his impudence. 

Still she would come in from the garden with 
a vase of fresh flowers for my desk just when 
the chapter on "The Handicrafts of the Col- 
onists" was fairly begun; and she would tell me 
how much she had learned about the care of 
rose-bushes from Adelaide Cooley. Louise Cald- 
well, too, had a boundless store of floral knowledge 
which she had learned as a girl in England. But 
there were some secrets which neither of them 
knew as well as her own mother; and (I am glad 
to recall) it took half the morning to explain 
these to me, who knew nothing of floriculture. 

Another morning she would come in to make 
sure that the curtains did not obstruct the light 
or that they kept the glare out "while you are 
writing." She would have been sure, if you 
had asked her, that she had not entered my 
room except a moment now and then to see that 
I was comfortable. Yet it was in that room on 
those days that History suffered great delays 
and that I had the inestimable gain of renewing 
my childhood and of finding the compass of my 
life. As I write this narrative, I am conscious 
as I set down every incident that far more inter- 
esting incidents have slipped from my memory, 



THE SOUTHERNER 

for I have only certain lucid remembrances. But 
the day has not yet come when my mother's 
hovering about me those weeks or months or 
years seemed less clear than yesterday. 

"I think you ought to marry, my son. You 
are already much older than your father or your 
brother was when they were married; and they 
were old enough to be good husbands." 

Or, on another morning: 

"I think that every Worth for five or six gener- 
ations was married before he reached your age; 
and you bear your father's and your grandfather's 



name." 



These remarks would fall without connection 
with what went before or with what came after - 
while the History waited. 

And, in the afternoons when we would drive, 
she would say, "Your father planted those trees 
the very year we were married. He was then 
not as old as you are." 

But all things, even affectionate interruptions, 
come to an end at last; and one day a long dis- 
cussed plan was carried out mother and 
Barbara went to Boston to make a visit to the 
Cooleys. There was some talk of my going 
with them, but I made an heroic resolve that 
nothing on earth should now interrupt me, and 
I remained at home. 

But the long habit of being interrupted could 



THE INTERRUPTIONS OF HISTORY 371 

not be broken suddenly. If nothing else hap- 
pened, my thoughts proved migratory. I recall 
that, instead of writing, I fell to wondering one 
day whether Louise Caldwell would really marry 
Cooley. Her friends said so. Why did I not 
find out? I ought to have gone to Boston and 
forced Cooley to tell me. But Louise herself - 
had I not known her since our childhood ? Would 
she not tell me ? Were we not good friends ? 
Surely she had been the very fire and inspiration 
of our work. What a glory shone about her 
when she cheered us! What an extraordinary task 
she was doing herself in organizing the Women's 
School League. Had she taken time to think 
of marriage ? And Cooley ? Cooley would not 
see a great chance in marriage unless he had 
reasoned it out in the most logical way and elimi- 
nated every conceivable danger of error. Cooley 
had talked to me of all things but marriage. I 
had been in the swing of a great effort and my 
personal intimacies with him and everybody else 
had been neglected. Moreover, I was ever slow, 
I suspect, at discovering facts of this kind. 

Yet, whenever my mother had let her suggestive 
remarks fall, I had seen Louise; and an emotional, 
clear remembrance stirred within me as I recalled 
her on horseback that morning in the mountains. 
Or sometimes I thought of her on the evening of 
our "winged victory." Or I saw her with my 



372 THE SOUTHERNER 

mother in the garden. It was always she that 
I saw. Again she would come to mind as the 
mistress of the pleasantest and most hospitable 
home during my life at the University, where she 
was one of us, not as a soft and restful mood but 
as a companion in our most active hours, our Lady 
of Battle. I had even come to call her "Lady." 

I was amazed at my sloth, my foolish omission, 
my complete absorption in our public task. 
True (and here lay my difficulty as I now mused 
on the subject), Louise had not invited tender 
approaches. Something of an old sadness sat on 
her, except when she was fired by a great plan. She 
did not suggest nor provoke confidences and com- 
pliments, as my cousin Margaret had through all 
my boyhood. The man who should win her must 
buckle on his armour and do a doughty deed. 

'The Handicrafts of the Colonies" suffered 
another delay while I went to Acropolis to 
visit Richard. This particular year was going 
badly, he told me; I was gone from the University 
and Billy was busy at the Legislature; and he 
was glad that the year's work was nearly done. He 
would go to the mountains early. He talked 
so much about his plans and paid me such con- 
tinuous attention that (it was plain) he thought 
I bad come to visit him. And Louise was gone 
on a visit of a day to somebody yes, she would 
come back to-morrow afternoon. 



THE INTERRUPTIONS OF HISTORY 373 

I had never yet gone wooing nor even recon- 
noitring when the lady seemed to expect me. I 
was weak enough at that moment to wish that 
the task could be done, when it were to be done, 
as any other great business of life with a 
certain directness and without tantalizing delays. 

While Richard was about his work the next 
day, I sat in "the great room" as they called it, 
and wrote Louise a letter. I had no notion of 
leaving it for her or of giving it to her; but it 
pleased my mood so to spend the time. I had 
come first to find out whether she were engaged 
to Cooley; for I regarded it as important to 
proceed with proper caution. Yet in that letter 
I wrote nothing about Cooley. I went to the 
main matter. And I confess to a most agreeable 
sensation in writing it. I was adding a postcript 
to it, which had drawn itself out as long as the 
letter itself, when a carriage drove up and she 
got out. I crumpled the letter into my pocket 
and hurried to open the door for her. 

Her greeting was kindly, of course, and (so 
far as I could make out) unsuspicious. It was 
not a strange thing for me to be a visitor there, 
and there was nothing in her manner which 
showed even surprise, not to say excitement. As 
we walked into the room she stooped and picked 
up a piece of paper. 

"Oh, that is a letter I was writing!" 



374 THE SOUTHERNER 

When she gave the sheet to me, I betrayed 
such surprise that she smiled, and I began to 
talk about plans for the summer. 

"I have not had a chance to tell you/' she 
said, "that I, too, am going to Boston. I sim- 
ply couldn't get away when your mother and 
Barbara went, and Adelaide has made plans 
for my coming." 

"Lady Louise," said I, descending like a 
thunderbolt, "am I rude to ask if Cooley also 
has not made plans for your coming ? " 

"I hope so." 

"And are you not making plans for his coming 
here?" 

"He is always welcome without plans." 

And in a moment she asked: "When do you 
go to Greece?" 

"When you marry Cooley." 

"Have you your appointment yet?" she asked 
laughingly. 

"Has Cooley his?" 

"O Lady Louise," I cried, "it is I who - 
j 

"But I tell you" (and she ran toward the 
door) "that I am going to Boston. I have 
that appointment." 

Caldwell came in then and she went out of 
the room. 

At supper we talked of old subjects, of course. 



THE INTERRUPTIONS OF HISTORY 375 

The next morning, I had resolved to try no 
further to get her secret from her that seemed 
dangerous for me. But I would go and see 
Cooley. 

When I reached home I received a letter from 
him saying that he was engaged to be married! 

That settled it. Logical, straightforward 
Cooley, he had now told me, without my taking 
a long journey. 

But what a pang seized me! If I recall the 
mood and I am sure to do, there came something 
very like despair. It was I who had borne 
the brunt of the battle, as I started to tell her 
not Cooley. She was obliged to know what I 
had almost said; for she ran away before I could 
say it mercifully ran away. And she would 
not tell me because I had bantered her aroused 
her pride of fight. 

But she was gone. At least she spared me 
the pain of hearing a refusal. 

Then I finished Cooley's letter the rest 
could be of no importance I was sure. "Yes, 
the Boston newspapers are just waking up to 
your political fight," he wrote "to its good 
effects." The Cotton Boll had published much 
about the "Rump" Legislature, about the farmers' 
victory and the general awakening. The old State 
was coming to life, and Boston had heard of it. 
So Cooley wrote, and there was a wish, therefore, 



376 THE SOUTHERNER 

in Boston to hear me explain the "revolution." 
Would I not come and make an address to the 
Midweek Club --two weeks hence? Besides, 
I could then meet his betrothed, about whom he 
would tell me more. 

I must go I saw that with painful clearness 
if for no other reason, because my refusal would 
be misinterpreted by both Louise and Cooley. 
But, after all, I had forced myself to believe, by 
saying it over and over again, that I had saved 
myself and her from open embarrassment. I 
had not declared my love. She might guess. 
Yet how could she know ? But I must not fail to 
congratulate them under the circumstances that 
they had themselves prepared. I would bravely 
go, therefore, and play the part assigned to me 
and come home with mother and Barbara. 
Apparently, too, Cooley and Louise were keeping 
their engagement a secret from everybody, to 
be sprung with some ado. For neither mother 
nor Barbara had written of it in their short letters 
to me. 

I again put aside the History, and gave my 
time to making notes of the address that I was 
to deliver in Boston; but I wrote Louise this 
jaunty little letter, to make sure that she should 
know that I knew of her engagement, and with 
the hope that she would think that I had known 
it when I came near to embarrassing her. For, 



THE INTERRUPTIONS OF HISTORY 377 

if she thought that I then knew it, she would 

understand my speech as only an effort at innocent 

banter: 

"Dear Lady Louise: 

"I've heard from Cooley, you know; or did you 
not know ? And you can guess what he wrote 
me, about which I shall speak when I may. 
This is only to tell you that he has written to me. 

"Good-bye, till Boston; for I, too, go in a 
fortnight to deliver an address on the 'revo- 
lution.' So many of us are going that soon 
the whole population will be 'tainted.' Look 
out lest you become 'Yankeeized." 

I put off my journey to Boston a day later 
than I had meant to start because Uncle Ephraim 
sent me word that he'd be "mightly obleeged" if 
I'd meet him in town the day after to-morrow. 

The old man told me of his perplexity about 
a very delicate duty which rested on his mind 
and which might, he feared, be performed dis- 
courteously; and he sought my judgment. 

He had lately gone to see the Governor again, 
and this time he had not been kept waiting, for 
Tom Warren had again played fair. He received 
the old man and heard his whole story. 

"I ain' tell 'bout me and de Guv'nor's talk 
ter no man livin', Mars' Littlenick, but you 
not even Mars' Charlie, whenever I sees 'im 



378 THE SOUTHERNER 

ag'in. Nobody don' know it 'cept you and me 
an 5 Marthy. 

"When I got done talkin' to de Guv'nor, he 
got up fum his cheer and walk de floo' and 
said: 

: 'Unc' Ephum,' says he, 'how I know dat 
dis gal is railly my chile ? How I gwine ter 
know dat?' Den I says to him, 'Ef you wuz 
ter look at her an' den look in de lookin'-glass, 
you wouldn't ax dat question no mo'.' 

"An' den he sez, 'Does you say dat yourse'f?' 

"An' I sez, 'Yes, suh, dat's what I sez.' 

"An' den he walk de floo' some mo', saying 
som'in ter hisse'f; an' den he walks right up ter 
me an' sez: 

"'Unc' Ephum, you'se a jus' man. You think 
it's right dat I should purvide for dis chile ? 
Many men does not.' 

"Den I sez ter him, 'Yes, suh, fur who gwine 
purvide fer her when I'se gone? Her mammy 
done run off wid a yaller preacher, and Gawd 
knows what gwine ter 'come er her when I dies 
and Marthy dies; and we'se bof gittin' uncommon 
ol f and feeble.' 

"An' den I tol' him 'bout dat school; and 
he'd heerd som'in' 'bout dat som'ers befo'; and 
he set down den an' dar and write a check, an' 
he wen' out de doo' an' was gone a minit; an', 
when he comes back wid de money, he say, 



THE INTERRUPTIONS OF HISTORY 379 

'Sen' 'er at onc't an' I'll pay her bills dar - 
somehow 'er ne'er.' 

"Now what I wants ter know, Mars' Little- 
nick, is how he gwine ter pay dem bills 'thout 
writin' his name dar atter I'm daid an' gone ? 

"An' would yer ax him 'bout dat? I do' wan' 
ter pester 'im. De gal don' gone ter de school. 
An' ought I go an' tell him she done gone ? I 
wants him ter know I done spen' de money right." 

"No," said I, "say nothing more. The Gov- 
ernor will attend to it. He's a good deal of a 
man, Uncle Ephraim." 

"Yes, suh, he's a gem'man." 

"Is that all that troubles you, Uncle Ephraim ?" 

"Yes, suh. So far-well, Mars' Littlenick. I 
hopes you and Miss Anne and Mars' Charlie 
and all de t'others un yer keeps mighty well. 
Tell 'em how-dy fer de ol' man. I'se gittin' 
mighty feeble. Mebbe I won' las' long. Far- 
well ag'in, Mars' Littlenick. I'se much obleeged 
to you, suh." 

He was a prophet as well as a patriarch, for I 
never saw him alive again. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

MY JOURNEY TO BOSTON 

1WENT to Boston to congratulate Cooley, with 
rather a heavy heart. But I had fortified 
myself, and I would do it bravely. :< That done/' 
I had mused on the way, "I'll try to think 
out my own future, for it now seems somewhat 
blank." 

The journey was a weary one. My thoughts 
were not good company. Then, too, there was 
the address that I had promised to deliver -- that 
also was a bore now; for my campaigning fever 
had long ago run its course and I was no longer in 
the oratorical mood. 

The way seemed longer even than it had seemed 
on my first journey to Harvard. How should I 
feign the surprise that I should be expected to 
show ? Worse yet, how should I feign the pleasure 
that I should be expected to express? And why 
this foolish silence ? They were mature persons, 
and to prepare a dramatic surprise was a juvenile 
performance - - possibly out of taste, too. Besides, 
the news ought to be given out at her home, not 
his. They had all become very silly. 

380 



MY JOURNEY TO BOSTON 381 

Yet I could not deny that the main matter had 
good sense to commend it. Cooley was a noble 
fellow, and Louise ought to live a wider life than 
she could ever find in Acropolis. She would 
adorn Boston and profit by her position there, 
a position of earnest elegance, with Cooley and 
Cooley's growing fortune. And surely they had 
been deliberate about it. I had only myself to 
pity or to blame not them. But it would be 
an awkward business to see them. I wish it were 
done and over. 

At last, of course, the train did arrive. I drove 

straight to the Cooley house. Mrs. Cooley and 

mother and Barbara and Adelaide and Cooley 

- they were all in a gay mood and gave me a 

hearty welcome. 

How should I open the subject ? And where 
was Lady Louise ? There was no mention of her. 
When was the surprise to be sprung on me ? 
And were the others in the secret ? 

* You've just time to dress for dinner, old man," 
said Cooley, after our greetings were over. 

The mystery deepened. But I'd not show 
impatience, since they either did not feel impatience 
or were concealing it with remarkable success and 
unanimity. I'd show calmness, too great calm- 
ness even if before the evening were over I 
were obliged to take Barbara into my confidence 
and ask where Louise was. 



382 THE SOUTHERNER 

When I came down to dinner, there they all 
were except Louise. Well, I should not betray 
my curiosity. 

I noticed a look on their faces that showed that 
something was about to happen. 

Then Cooley grasped Barbara by the hand and 
led her in front of me. 

" By your leave, sir - 

It was Barbara, and not Louise! 

When they laughed and mother put her hand on 
my shoulder, I did not know whether I was more 
surprised or gratified. 

" By your leave, Nicholas," said Cooley again. 

And I kissed Barbara and most heartily con- 
gratulated them. 

But where was Louise ? I should not ask 
abruptly; but I must find out. 

Nothing was said about her during the dinner, 
and it was late in the evening when Barbara made 
casual mention of something that happened " while 
Louise was here." 

"Where is she?" I asked, in as natural a tone 
as I could. 

"She went home two days ago. Professor Cald- 
well was very impatient to get ready to go to 
the mountains - 

It was the next night that I must deliver the 
address to the Midweek Club. Could I wait? 



MY JOURNEY TO BOSTON 383 

The night seemed ages long, and the next day 
was an eternity. 

I made an address on Cotton, telling how a new 
civilization must and will be built was already 
building itself - - on it. I showed how Cotton 
is one of the fittest subjects of craftsmanship and 
of scholarship and of statesmanship. There is 
no wonder that it was King in the old controversies. 
It has shaped the life and so far as we can see 
it will always shape the life of the people in the 
Southern States fortunately for them; for it will 
become the solvent of social troubles and race- 
differences. 

"We must build our education on Cotton/' said 
I, "and not merely copy and repeat the routine 
training of people elsewhere. We must study our 
soil, seeds, plants, varieties -- breed better growths. 
We must bring all soil-science and planting skill 
to bear on this plant of many-sided values, about 
which we yet know little." 

I pictured a family with a few acres a com- 
fortable family with profitable acres -- lovingly 
studying the cotton-plant from the playtime of 
childhood till they became old, ever finding new 
values, new uses. Other farm products, of course, 
they grew for man and beast, and the cash that 
cotton brought was their comfortable profit. I 
pictured a community of farmers some with 
big and some with little farms, all skilful and 



384 THE SOUTHERNER 

conscientious in their studies and experiments 
and successes. 

I pictured the place that Cotton must take in our 
school courses. To grow it well must be a part of 
every school-child's training. Then I told of its 
coming place in our mechanical and technical 
schools how to pick it and to gin it and to bale 
it and to assort it and to spin it and to weave it; 
then of its place in our economic studies it means 
a world-trade; then of its place in our literary 
studies as a fashioner of a life on the soil which, 
though rural, touches many crafts and many lands ; 
then of its place in possible artistic studies. 

"We yet have our peculiar problem," I said, 
"with its pathos and its humour; and we yet have 
our emotional strain, our quick pulse, our cheer- 
fulness and our closeness to the soil; and here 
(so we believe) we shall work out a life somewhat 
different from the life of New England or the life 
of the prairie. But it may be an even fuller and 
richer life, being later and of a more leisurely com- 
ing; and we shall prove that our democracy is 
equal even to the strain put on it by the one great 
error of the Fathers." 

The audience certainly a part of it was 
disappointed. They had "the South" in their 
minds associated only with the Negro; and they 
had expected me to talk mainly about our race- 
problem. 



MY JOURNEY TO BOSTON 385 

"We are deeply interested in the education and 
welfare of the coloured people," said the well- 
known Mr. Deemer; "and we know that you, 
too, are. We hoped that you might discuss that 
phase of Southern life somewhat." 

"Yes; but with this difference from you, per- 
haps. I care nothing for the Negro merely because 
he is a Negro. I care for him because he is a man 
or a child. I prefer to think of the people in 
the Southern States as a people white and black 
alike - - living under certain conditions, which can 
be made very fortunate and prosperous conditions, 
rather than about any particular class or race of 
them. The Negro has brought us much trouble, 
for which not he but your ancestors and mine are 
chiefly to blame; and it is too late to punish them. 

"What you mean by the race-problem is, we 
hope, a temporary trouble. Cotton will remove 
it, if we master the arts and the sciences that it 
presents and suggests. It is all a matter of right 
training. 

"In any proper scheme of education, there are 
no white men, no black men only men." 

"But," said Mr. Deemer with emphasis, "the 
black man was oppressed, enslaved, brutalized. 
Has he not a special claim on our help ?" 

"No. He was enslaved, but he profited by 
slavery more than the white man profited. He was 
oppressed in the sense that some slaves were 



3 86 THE SOUTHERNER 

oppressed wherever slavery has existed. Brutal- 
ized ? He was a savage to begin with, and we have 
civilized him. 

"You make it harder for us, my dear sir, who 
are giving our lives to train both black and white 
men, by the sort of emphasis that you put on the 
black man. 

"You give aid and comfort to our enemies at 
home, to the men who would neglect and degrade 
the Negro; for you 'draw the colour line' in all 
speech and thought and action the 'colour line' 
and the sectional line. You give plausibility to 
the argument which we have to meet constantly 
that the good Yankees will take care of the Negro." 

"But " 

"Are you willing to take my word for it that 
every time you and men like you talk about this 
'problem' (there is no 'problem'; it is a state of 
society) you make it worse ? " 

"But I was trying to explain," he went on. 
"Take the matter of the mixture of races, for 
instance all illegitimate. Surely you grant that 
that is a great evil ? " 

"Granted. The same evil exists here exists 
everywhere where women are weak. When you 
have stopped it here, come and tell us how you did 
it. If your talk about it in the South made one 
sin less, I should say 'talk." 

"Agitation will- 



MY JOURNEY TO BOSTON 387 

"Merely muddle the mind and give our old 
politicians a longer lease of life. Let me make 
a practical suggestion. I will give you the names 
of two most excellent schools, one for poor white 
boys, one for coloured youth. They are doing 
right work. They need help. 'Help' means, 
money, clothes, books, tools anything useful. If, 
whenever you feel the impulse to write or to speak 
about 'the race problem/ you will resist it and 
spend the same moral force in collecting money 
or any other useful things from your neighbours 
and will send what you collect to either of these 
schools, you will do a good deed in a world that has 
been talked to weariness/' 

Cooley applauded and the audience followed his 
example. But I fear that Mr. Deemer has ever 
since regarded me as a disappointment. 

Then a bishop took up the subject. His con- 
descension toward "the South" kept many good 
people from understanding us. The South was 
one of his "specialties." He went there every 
year to attend the meeting of the Board of a theo- 
logical school for coloured youth. His attitude 
toward the South was very like Colonel String- 
weather's attitude toward the North, with the 
difference that the Colonel was a poor man whom 
few knew, and the Bishop was a rich man and the 
companion of richer men; and he was much 
sought after and he talked unctuously to many 



388 THE SOUTHERNER 

'philanthropists.' The poor old Colonel gloried 
in the poverty of our people. He used to say that 
the South was the only country left in the world 
where men are contented -without money, believe 
in God, read Scott's novels, bake sweet potatoes 
properly, and vote the Democratic ticket. The 
Bishop suggested fat bank-checks of absolution - 
a sort of insurance fund of silence about sins near 
at hand. 

This comparison, like most other comparisons 
of men, is unfair to both. For the Colonel came 
to believe his creed while he was preaching it and 
the Bishop also had repeated his till he probably 
thought it true. Yet, in God's name, are men not 
to be censured for believing false things ? 

In truth, the "professional" Southerner -- the 
man whose capital in life is the fact that he is a 
Southerner and your "professional" reformer 
of the South have many resemblances. Your 
Southerner shows his intimacy with the Deity by 
swearing; your reformer shows his intimacy by a 
condescending familiarity; and you may take your 
choice of them for bores. They are alike in that 
neither will learn anything; different only in the 
angle at which their complacent density misses 
common sense and a helpful knowledge of man- 
kind. 

But, at the Bishop's prodding, I made a con- 
fession which (as I recall it) ran thus: 



MY JOURNEY TO BOSTON 389 

"Is our dream ever to come true/' I asked, "of 
a Southern people again become normal, well- 
balanced, just to all races, strong in political 
wisdom ? and with their share of influence in our 
national life ? Yes, at some time, but we must 
first be rid of one heavy drag on our minds and our 
emotions. I will make a confession to you. that 
every candid Southern man must make of a 
shadow that follows him. 

"I do not myself, of my own will, carry or feel 
any sectional consciousness. It is the community 
that will not let me lose it the present com- 
munity, the past, and the shadow of the past, the 
whole combination of forces that we mean when 
we speak of 'The South/ For instance, I try to 
study the large problems of the Republic and I 
adjust myself to them precisely as I would if 
I had been born and lived in Boston or in 
San Francisco. But, while men in Boston 
and San Francisco may think their thoughts 
and express their opinions and work out their 
problems without a sectional consciousness, I 
may not. 

"And the fault is not mine. It is first my com- 
munity's fault. When I hold an opinion that 
differs from the dominant formula, I am asked if 
I have forgotten that I am a 'Southerner/ The 
sectional self-consciousness all about us as the 
atmosphere is about us -- has kept us sectionally 



390 THE SOUTHERNER 

self-conscious. I must be myself plus a 'South- 
erner.' Now a Southerner is a proper and proud 
thing to be, but (here comes the sorrowful paradox) 
I cannot be the Southerner that I should like 
to be, because of the presence of this must-be 
'Southerner' -this self-conscious 'Southerner' 
that is thrust upon me. If it were not for this 
self-conscious 'Southerner' that must become a 
part of every public Southerner's self, better men 
would enter public life from these States. 

"This shadow 'Southerner' is a dead man which 
every living man of us has to carry. He is the old 
defensive man. 

"Nor does he cling to us at home only. He 
follows us wherever we go in the United States. 
You invited me here because I am a 'Southerner.' 
If I had been born in Ohio or in Pennsylvania 
you would not be interested in my experiences 
and opinions. Wherever we 'of the South' go, 
we are judged not on our merits. When men 
judge us they add something for this accidental 
reason or they subtract something; and they say, 
'You were born in the South, were you not?' 

"For this false note in our lives I lay blame 
especially on the attitude that you have toward 
the South. If you, you who live in New England 
in particular, would regard us who now live and 
work in these Southern Commonwealths as citizens 
of the Republic, your regarding us so would help 



MY JOURNEY TO BOSTON 391 

to make us so. So long as we are regarded as a 
problem we must play the part of a problem, 
whether we will or no. 

" And thus we carry an unfulfilled ambition that 
gives a deep seriousness to our lives, an ambition 
for these States and these people as a part of the 
Union. The ambition that men felt in the time 
of Washington, of Jefferson, of Marshall this 
is what I mean. They and their fellows, who were 
our ancestors, wrought out their high wish. Our 
wish, equally high, we have not wrought out, and 
you hinder us. In the life, in the thought, in the 
conduct of the Republic, we have not the share 
that we should like to have. In our own fathers' 
house, we are yet disinherited in a certain sense, 
disinherited because of the shadow 'Southerner/ 
whom you help to keep alive. 

"Do you wonder that we are become weary of 
being a problem? We do not ask your pity; but 
we do ask your sympathy and your understanding 
- we of the post-bellum South who had nothing to 
do with its old misfortunes, but whose lives must 
be spent in the struggle out of the shadow of them. 
We ask that we be regarded in a normal way." 

Deemer old Deemer for, though he was 
then less than forty, he seemed as old as Bunker 
Hill monument, so solemn and impersonal was he 
and so lacking in perspective and adaptability and 



392 THE SOUTHERNER 

humour and imagination, being the product of a 
long ancestry of pedagogues that had bred 
down in him to mere precision of speech, and of 
another line of moralists that had transmitted to 
him only two formulas, one about Peace, the other 
about the Coloured Man -- poor old Deemer, who 
had written a pamphelt on "A Better Organiza- 
tion of Human Society" and had never seen the 
humour of such an effort for Deemer, these 
smiles and tears. And he lived with Mrs. Deemer 

- properly enough for she also carried in her 
mind a geometrical plan of civilization by which she 
could instantly measure any new idea that came 
along. There are conceivable conditions in life 
where Colonel Stringweather would have been 
companionable; for he drank and prayed and 
swore and sent missionaries to the Congo, and 
cursed " niggers" at home, but he had the charm of 
forgetfulness if not the faculty of learning. 

It was saying something like this to Cooley 
as we walked home, and he remarked : 

"You know Mrs. Deemer is rich, don't you? 
Do you know how she got her fortune ? One of 
her ancestors laid the foundation of it in the slave- 
trade. Another Bristol story. The family has not 
even yet quite the social stand that it aspires to." 

"You know," I reminded him in turn, "that 
Edwards's father Edwards, of The White Man 

- was a slave-trader. Allies yet. Truly an abnor- 



MY JOURNEY TO BOSTON 393 

mal interest in the Negro seems to descend to the 
second and the third and the fourth generations." 
Poor old land! It has not only to bear its 
inherited misfortunes and its continued follies, 
but it has also to hear, above the sorrows of its 
children of two races, the gospels of saviours whom 
we may not crucify! 

Cooley and (worse yet) mother and Barbara 
expected me to remain in Boston several days - 
perhaps a week. How I should manage gracefully 
to go had annoyed me all day. But (thank 
heaven!) just before we went to the Midweek 
Club, a telegram came from Charles, saying that 
he'd be glad if I could come home soon. 

I told them, then, that most important business 
pressed for attention at home; and a good train 
for the South left at midnight. I must go. 

Did ever a man come to such a turn in the road 
as this when he was breathless on such an errand ? 
The longer I live the more I wonder at the ungeo- 
metrical plan of any human life. 

I bade them all good-bye (I was sorry I couldn't 
wait to go with them), and in the sleeping-car 
before my thoughts would come to the main track 
that they must now run on, I had time to think 
again, as I always thought on a visit to Boston, 
of the orderliness, the thrift, the frankness of the 
people a clean land, clean towns, open minds, 



394 THE SOUTHERNER 

/a frank and unaffected interest in public affairs, 
men and women who read books, who talk well, 
who know what other interesting folk are doing 
in every part of the world, who get pleasure from 
the arts, who live an intellectual life, who have 
full freedom of opinion and of expression no 
zones of silence. I felt intellectually at home with 
them, as I felt intellectually at home nowhere else. 
And yet a man who had only his own personal 
career to work out, a mere personal success to 
achieve, a fortune to build, a professional standing 
to win, or even a larger problem to solve in an 
orderly and free community where public opinion 
has its normal action --how small a task 
that seems! The glorious thing is to do a larger 
service, and the greater the difficulties the greater 
the service. 

But now I will soon finish my interrupted con- 
versation with Louise at last. "Good night, 
you wretched, happy, hopefully weary, baffled 
dog!" I said to myself, and fell asleep, as the train 
went southward. "May you now hit the right 
trail at last ! " 



CHAPTER XXX 

THE FRUITS OF VICTORY 

I HAVE ever been subject to interruptions, 
as some dispositions are to malaria; and all 
my enterprises suffer delays, this orderly narra- 
tive among the rest. Thus the rush of other things 
has now carried me past the real event of the 
whole story. For it is time you were learning that 
events do sometimes come to pass even in our 
dateless, long-summered life. To go back a little, 
then: 

Professor Billy was right, as, upon my soul, 
I believe he always was. The Legislature turned 
out to be not only friendly to our programme to 
train the people but eager for it. The country 
members who came up to Marlborough, as they 
became acquainted with one another, discovered 
that better schools and more of them was what 
the people wanted. Professor Billy had been 
very active among them. He knew them all, and 
they turned to him as their guide. He was a 
countryman like themselves; he spoke their speech; 
he told the kind of stories that they liked; and he 
told them better than any other man. 

395 



396 THE SOUTHERNER 

More than that, he was the boon companion 
of all his enemies. As soon as a man opposed him, 
he sought him and won him. Senator Barker's 
sport was fishing, and Professor Billy was the best 
fisherman in the Commonwealth, and they talked 
on long tramps down the river. The Reverend 
Doctor Suggs had no sports, except argumen- 
tation and gluttony; and Professor Billy found 
it convenient to appear on Sunday mornings 
at Marlborough and to attend the doctor's church 
and walk home with him to dinner, which he, too, 
enjoyed and praised. Note you well he did 
not assume these pleasures. He really liked to 
fish. He really enjoyed Senator Barker's com- 
panionship. He really liked to hear old Suggs 
preach, and he loved a good dinner as well as 
Suggs loved it. In the meantime, he visited the 
half-dozen most enterprising towns in the State 
and suggested to the business men that a great 
State college for women would be of commercial 
advantage to the town in which it should be 
situated; and perhaps the Legislature would 
establish such a school if proper advances were 
made. How much would the Board of Trade 
subscribe ? Would it guarantee a proper site and 
take up a subscription to put up one building ? 

As soon as the Legislature was organized, there- 
fore, and the committees were appointed, the 
Committee on Education of the House began to 



THE FRUITS OF VICTORY 397 

receive bids from different towns for such a col- 
lege. This was helpful; for, if any town should 
subscribe a large sum, the appropriation by the 
Legislature might be, by that much, smaller. 

And so it came about, with surprising prompt- 
ness, that the Committee set a day when these 
rival towns should be heard. Members of the 
Boards of Trade from half a dozen of them came. 
The project had now entered the stage of compe- 
tition --it appealed to the sporting mood of each 
group of men. If Marlborough would bid so 
much, Edinboro would bid more; and thus the 
excitement ran high. It seemed to be taken for 
granted that the college would now be established. 
The only question was, which town shall have it ? 
By a happy chance - - Professor Billy was a past- 
master at bringing happy chances about Sen- 
ator Barker came from Washington on the day 
of the Committee's hearing; and he was, of course, 
invited to be present and to make an address. 
And it was not the Committee only that would 
hear him; for there were so many "delegates" 
from rival towns and so many women present that 
the meeting had to be held in the hall of the 
House; and the Legislature adjourned for the day 
so that all the members might attend the meeting. 

Professor Billy and the gods had much merri- 
ment that day at the unfolding of events, especially 
at the progress of Senator Barker's great speech. 



398 THE SOUTHERNER 

The distinguished Senator began by recalling 
the fact that he had always " favoured" a great 
college for our women, God bless 'em; and, even 
when other subjects of the public interest had 
seemed to press more urgently, he had never 
opposed it, if done under " proper auspices"; 
and now he believed that the time was ripe. 

Then there issued from his vast caves of speech 
a honeyed blast of compliments to the fair daugh- 
ters of our happy land. 'To them my thanks, 
my most grateful and eternal thanks, as an old 
Confederate, for their loving tribute to the loyal 
dead of the Lost Cause -- their unceasing devo- 
tion shown by their completion of the Soldiers' 
Monument, which will stand forever, whatever 
wind blow, as a proof of their noble gratitude and 
appreciation. 

"In proposing such a school, therefore, I am 
not proposing class-legislation, as it has sometimes 
been feared, but legislation for the nurture of men 
and women alike. The hand that rocks the 
cradle rules the world our fair women, God 
bless 'em." 

Governor Warren, too, most heartily approved 
the plan "as now presented to a Democratic 
Legislature, under auspices that will ensure the 
conduct of such a great school after the approved 
methods of our own people." 

It turned out, too, that the religious press had 



THE FRUITS OF VICTORY 399 

no objections to offer another happy chance. 
Just at that moment, in fact, their two principal 
papers were engaged in a bitter theological war 
about infant baptism; and the reverend editors 
had all their belligerent vocabulary in use against 
one another. 

Thus the college came into being as the creature 
of the Senator's gallantry. Was it not his plan 
from the first, which he had held back till the time 
should be fully ripe ? And you may now read 
over the door of the main building in stone letters 
the words "Barker Hall," and see a life-size por- 
trait of the Senator hanging in the hall. The 
inscription under it recites that he was "one of the 
distinguished founders of this school." 

O History, what a wayward tongue you have, 
whether you speak in script or stone or paint or 
legend ! 

But again Senator Barker and other things 
have hurried me unduly for the orderly conduct of 
this narrative. I must tell you that Energetic 
Edinboro made the highest bid for the college 
a beautiful site and enough stone from nearby 
quarries for all the buildings required. For the 
young commercial men of Edinboro were not to be 
outdone. 

And Professor Billy was immediately chosen 
President of the College for Women and instructed 
to superintend the building and organization of it. 



400 THE SOUTHERNER 

Nor was this all that the newly loosed zeal of 
the long-neglected people did. 'The School of 
Cotton Crafts" was a phrase that stuck in the 
memories of men in the cotton counties. We 
had all spoken of that when we had suitable 
audiences; and it was an easy thing to explain 
because Charles and Barbara had planned it 
and, to an extent, worked it out at Millworth. 
Having made proof of the popular favour with 
which the college for women was received, the 
legislative committee now showed a mood to estab- 
lish also a school of cotton-crafts. Thus suddenly 
and unexpectedly the hitherto unnoticed work 
at Millworth came into great notoriety. There 
was, in some quarters, a conscientious avoidance 
of linking my name with it; for, mind you, my 
educational programme had been "overwhelmingly 
repudiated"; and all plans that were now brought 
forward bore the careful label of "after the 
manner of our own institutions," so that the 
Senator and the Governor and Mr. Superin- 
tendent Craybill could in good faith and with 
good face support them as the plans of this 
"educational administration." 

Charles found himself famous, as he deserved, 
and the legislative committee sent a "special 
educational commissioner" North, even to Mas- 
sachusetts, to -find out and to describe "the best 
things in modern educational practice." The 



THE FRUITS OF VICTORY 401 

commissioner was a young fellow who had been 
a pupil of Professor Billy's, but he had taken 
no offensive part in public agitation. He had 
gone to see the Senator and the Governor and 
Major Thorne at Professor Billy's suggestion. 

And someone who will write more freely of 
my brother Charles than I can write will, I have 
no doubt, some day tell you the whole story of 
what he had done and planned and foreshadowed; 
for it means a new, long step in both our economic 
and social history, which even yet has not been 
fully taken nor wholly understood. 

The cotton crafts reach from the proper 
preparation of seed to the best artistic designs 
for fabrics; and all these were sketched at Mill- 
worth. But, of course, the humbler economic 
steps were first to be taken; and it was chiefly 
at such tasks that Charles had worked. 

I do not know whether you have happened ever 
to think of it that a hundred years hence, to 
say nothing of five hundred or a thousand, every 
foot of soil that will grow the cotton-plant well 
will be worth who shall say what? For there 
will then be many millions more human creatures 
to be clad and adorned, but there will be no 
more acres of earth on which cotton will grow 
well. 

"Therefore, men," my brother said every 
Christmas to his most skilful workers, when 



402 THE SOUTHERNER 

the big Millworth dinner was eaten, to which 
every worker in the villages sat down- "there- 
fore, men, during the coming year the farmers' 
cooperative company hopes to see as many as 
possible of you admitted by the Land Committee 
to land-ownership. Unimproved land is the 
cheapest thing we have in our country. A few 
years' skilful work will make it the most valuable 
thing in our country. Every man here may have 
as many acres, up to twenty, as he and his family 
can cultivate to the required standard -- free 
of charge, to become his as soon as he brings it 
to that degree of culture which your own com- 
mittee requires. 

"In a word, every man here may become a 
skilled farmer and the owner of a farm, free, as 
soon as he prove that he is worthy of owning 
land." 

It was very simple. The unimproved land 
was cheap. In every direction the mill companies 
and the cooperative farm company bought it, 
with a certain small proportion of their profits 
which were set aside for this purpose. Contrary 
to prediction, the price of unimproved land had 
not greatly risen after years of this regular buying. 
The increase of value was in the price of the 
improved land. 

The standard of cultivation laid down was 
high. The staple crop must be cotton and the 



THE FRUITS OF VICTORY 403 

yield required was at least four times as great 
as the average yield had been by the old methods; 
and other crops also must be grown -- vegetables, 
fruits, corn and hay enough for the stock; and 
every farm must yield some such by-products 
as poultry and cream; and all these things were 
supervised by the superintendents and experts of 
the cooperative farms' company, which was made 
up of those who had already come to own land. 

u We have few sick women and children," 
Barbara boasted, "for, before they become sick, 
they are sent to do light outdoor work on the 
farms. A strawberry patch, a poultry yard, a 
lettuce garden, a cabbage field, to say nothing 
of the cotton-fields themselves, are the best 
preventives of illness. And half the small farming 
in all these places is done by happy women and 
children, some of whom have become surprisingly 
skilful. The danger is that the mills will be 
able to get only the left-over and least intelligent 
workers -- if it be right to call that a danger; and 
success on the farms has already forced an increase 
in mill wages." 

Charles, not being an academic economist, 
maintained, against Cooley's opinion, that the 
private ownership of land, as we have it now, is 
sure to cease when the pressure for its use becomes 
strong enough, as it will become; and it was his 
notion that the farming company should give 



4 o 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

men land to be held free so long as it should be 
cultivated to a required standard. "This is 
the first step," he would say. "The men who 
use the land best must at last get its fruits, and 
our system of ownership and control must ulti- 
mately shape itself to this primary principle of 
justice; and, for the present, the cost of the land 
is so little that it is an economy to give it away 
if you can give it to productive users of it. Our pre- 
decessors seemed to regard land as more valuable 
than men. The Millworth plan regards land 
only as one instrument for training men; and 
land becomes whatever the men on it make it." 

It thus came about, as you know, that Mill- 
worth became famous. A stream of writing 
economists and reformers came to see the villages. 
The country was flooded with much printed 
misunderstanding of a simple thing. There were 
men who now saw the way to the millennium, 
forgetting that the millennium itself will require 
the best possible leadership and the most careful 
management. 

"Your men of learning know less," said Charles, 
"about the practical management of men than 
any other class, I verily believe. Not one has 
ever come here, I think, but came out of the 
clouds and went back into the clouds again. 
They expect some 'system/ some 'trick/ some 
economic device to work a change in men - 



THE FRUITS OF VICTORY 405 

instead of plain, straight skill and work; and 
they think that 'systems' manage themselves. 
They always think of the land first of men 
afterwards/' 

But the "hayseed'* legislators went straight 
to the point. We must have a school of cotton 
crafts, they said; and they fell to discussing the 
real work that had been done at Millworth. 
Not only, then, had Professor Billy's plan been 
carried out, but it looked as if the dream that I 
had sketched from Charles's work would also 
come true. In a word, the work that I wished 
to have done seemed likely to be done without 
my having the trouble to do it done by the 
very men who had "overwhelmingly defeated" 
me. I have my vanities, I am sure, but they 
were not so great as to mar my pleasure at this 
result. 

As for Professor Billy, the best way to make 
sure of his success, it was proved, is to oppose 
him, to defeat him, to "bury him out of sight"; 
"for," said he, "if you really believe in the people 
and serve them till they believe in you, their 
political masters become your slaves." 

The educational commissioner reported to the 
legislative committee that most of the States 
made far larger appropriations to the public 
schools than our State, and the Legislature forth- 
with doubled the former sums granted, and 



4 o6 THE SOUTHERNER 

passed an act permitting local school taxation 
to be greatly increased. 

You may say that all the facts that this 
young man discovered were well known and 
had been repeatedly published and explained 
by us all. True; but do you, too, not forget the 
difficult art of managing men for their own 
upbuilding ? 

There is knowledge enough now in the world to 
construct a millennium (and that is what your 
dreamer does and expects the perfect day to 
dawn); but it cannot come until men have used 
this knowledge to their own upbuilding. For, 
when a better social and economic order does 
come, it will not come by any "system" of 
economics or other doctrine, but by the definite 
personal work of a long succession of great leaders 
of the people and by the slow tuition of experience; 
and the new order, which is ever brought nearer 
when a great leader arises, will be only a slowly 
evolved society of human beings most of whom 
are willing to work more skilfully, to live scien- 
tifically, and to act toward one another more 
justly than we are willing to do. 

When, therefore, you and I build our dream 
of the City of our Hope (as, praise God, all men 
must),, we will remember that its wide arches 
rest on the long-forgotten, joyful labour of men 
like Charles Worth and William Malcolm Bain; 



THE FRUITS OF VICTORY 407 

for they loved their fellows and found life sweet 
in toiling for them. 

And now, by your leave, back to my own 
immediate dream; and, if I have thus far done 
you the slightest pleasure by this poor tale, you 
will now oray with me that it may come true. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

TO THIS HIGH MOMENT 

1TOOK the precaution this time to inform 
Louise that I was coming. On the train 
I wrote her a note saying what an infamous 
joke it was that Barbara and Cooley had played 
on me. 

"I did not approve of such indirection. Still, 
a man can not rise higher than his companions 
and surroundings, and I laughed with them at 
myself. To get the laughing done with, I shall 
go to Acropolis to-morrow, to hear your ridicule 
and to have it over." 

I wrote that and other such light matter in a 
note that was sent as courier to what I meant 
should be the most momentous visit of my life. 

That night I had some dull talk with Charles - 
it seemed dull to me, and he remarked that the 
journey had tired me about Barbara and 
mother and about my little speech in Boston and 
old Deemer. "I'd like to see him," said Charles. 
" He must be a sort of rarified and refined Babb, 
since he knows God and His purposes so well." 

But he was glad --very glad indeed that I 

4 o8 



TO THIS HIGH MOMENT 409 

had hurried home, bringing him the news. For 
Barbara had written to nobody about her engage- 
ment to Cooley. A committee of the Legislature 
was coming to Millworth the next day to see the 
farm and the mills and the farm school. They 
seemed very earnest about the establishment of the 
School of Cotton Crafts; and I could help him 
entertain them and explain the farm and the 
mills and what they meant. He was very glad 
I had come. The news about this committee's 
visit had reached him the day I left home for 
Boston, and he had telegraphed me on that 
account. 

"May I pay attention to the committee when 
they first come and show them the farm, and 
then leave them to you and the mills in the after- 
noon, and may I go to Acropolis where I have 
an engagement to-morrow with Caldwell?" 

"Oh, yes." 

And I wondered what else could happen to 
delay me. 

I reached Acropolis just as everybody was 
finishing supper. The Caldwells, I was sure, 
had waited for me and I drove straight to their 
squatty stone house. The doors were shut, the 
windows were closed; I saw no light. 

"Dey done gone, suh, ter de mountains. Day 
b'fore yisterday de perfessur and Miss CalPwell 



4 io THE SOUTHERNER 

shet up and went off," said the driver, who might 
have told me sooner. 

To-morrow was Sunday, and no train ran 
toward the mountains on the Sabbath not 
so long as the firm of Suggs & Babb did business 
for the Lord. 

I am impatient now at the mere remembrance 
of these dilatory incidents. Why a man who 
had known and admired a woman for a long 
time should hit upon one certain day or week 
rather than another when he becomes suddenly 
determined to win her -- that I leave you to 
decide for yourself, while I hurry on with these 
eager memories. But, when he has hit upon 
such a day, Good Lord give him decent speed! 

At last I reached the railway station at the 
foothills, and there was a long drive up the moun- 
tains. Caldwell had built his summer hut on 
the outskirts of our highest mountain village - 
of course, as far away as possible. 

It was in the afternoon when the stage began 
the drive of thirty miles up the mountain. We 
went half the distance beside a river which plunged 
down, turning here and there for mere practice of 
its strength, a toy-like mill. Now and then we 
passed a comfortable mountaineer's house. But 
the cabins of the left-over people were as barren 
as the pathetic little churches. We saw but 
one school-house. Barefoot children with meager 



TO THIS HIGH MOMENT 411 

clothing ran out of the huts to gaze at us. These 
fertile valleys were cultivated only here and there, 
all badly. 

We reached a terrace on the steep slope where 
the road turned to a gentler grade. Over the 
declivity I saw the winding valley miles away 
below, infrequent huts dotting the long landscape, 
and the river stretching like a ribbon till the low- 
lands were lost in the mist. 

At the next turn the sky had become red with 
the approach of the sunset. The air was cooler. 
An orange and crimson panorama spread toward 
infinity before us. 

We had driven through the richest imaginable 
forests, dense and odorous, and an incalculable 
carpet of undergrowth gave bloom and perfume, 
fold on fold; and now the road was fringed with 
mountain laurel, and the great rhododendron 
would soon open its gorgeous and endless show 
of splendour -- the very garden of the gods and 
a play place left yet for half a continent. 

We passed, in this land of enchantment, a 
hovel by the road from which five half-clad 
children rushed, followed by a lean and noisy 
cur; and a slatternly woman stood in the door. 
A little patch of corn and a little patch of cabbages 
were visible at one side. And we overtook a man 
a little farther on with whom I had conversation. 

"Do'ant know this here country none too well. 



4 i2 THE SOUTHERNER 

I lives on t'other road yan side o' Ochawatchie. 
But my business takes me ever'whares sellin' 
sewin' machines an' organs. Is yer frum New 
York?" 

"No; but I came through New York the 
other day." 

"Is bus'ness purty peart thar now?" 

"I suppose so." 

"When you wuz thar did you happen to see 
the sewin' machine men, Johnson and Thomas? 
They mus' be mighty peart in bus'ness." 

This, within that scarlet and blue horizon, and 
under that dome changing splendour following 
changing splendour and in the reverent shadows 
of the most incalculable and multitudinous growth 
and bloom and perfume, the gay riot of sun and 
rain for ten thousand years; and I turned from our 
fellow-traveller in silence, for pity and for shame. 

The delicious night came on before we reached 
the village. It was too late to go up the mountain 
to Caldwell's at least I so decided. 

But I was still debating that question while 
I ate supper at the village hotel. I was with 
alternate smiles and vexation recounting my 
delays and repeating to myself the errand I was 
come on. "And the end of it?" I must have 
said aloud, for the Negro waiter answered. 

"What yer say, boss?" 

"Bring me more waffles." 



TO THIS HIGH MOMENT 413 

"Yes, suh, right off' er de griddle." 

Is this a thing ordained by nature, planned 
by the very gods from the beginning, as all lovers 
fondly persuade themselves their happy matings 
are ? Or is it only a plan that I had carefully 
reasoned out as I had accused Cooley of reasoning 
all things out? 

It was both. True it might have come gently 
and naturally some day while we were talking 
of other things. But it didn't happen so to be 
ordained. It must be a matter of hot pursuit 
and of fierce combat. 

And the result ? If it had been so meant in 
the fitness of all beautiful things, there could be 
no doubt. And with this comfortable reflection 
I fell asleep in the hotel, to the sound of a mountain 
stream tumbling over the rocks in the yard. 

The next afternoon Louise and I were walking 
on the table-land where I had seen her that 
memorable morning on horseback. We had 
talked during the day of many things of all 
deep things of life; for there was a solemnity 
in the joy that I had come to seek. All life's 
plans the miserable waste of time that had 
passed it takes any life so long, so very long, 
to find itself and precious years are gone before 
we begin to live. And the future one must, 
when the adjustment is found -- make sure that 
the road ahead leads straight. 



4H THE SOUTHERNER 

Go to Greece ? Oh, no! I should go nowhere. 
Everything had been made plain by the one 
effort of our lives. Action and only action clears 
the vision. Work, work here, noble, constructive 
work here it seemed a high privilege. 

With the vanity of a lover I had directed all 
the talk about myself. 

"But you?" I asked. 'You may live where 
you will. There is Boston, where the arts find 
expression there is music, there are men and 
women who read and think and talk, intellectual 
companionship and growth, men of wit and 
women of refinement, the flash and radiance of 
trained minds. Here the battle to be won is 
a rough one man's work rather than woman's." 

"I will recite the old creed," she said, and we 
walked toward the precipice where there was 
the far view of the valley. 

"/ believe in this land our land whose in- 
finite variety of beauty and riches we do not yet 
know. Wake up, old Land! 

"I believe in these people our people whose 
development may be illimitable. Wake up, my 
People ! 

"I believe in the continuous improvement of 
human society, in the immortality of our democracy, 
in the rightmindedness of the masses. Wake up, 
old Commonwealth!" 

We had now reached the summit. The sinking 



TO THIS HIGH MOMENT 415 

sun was making such a show of colour over Flower 
Mountain that the whole universe seemed bathed 
in brilliancy one infinite canvas of ever-changing 
gorgeousness. We stood for a moment in silence, 
and the whole drift of the day's talk, the whole 
force of our lives and the convergence of all our 
hopes pushed toward one great utterance - 
pushed with all the force of the inevitable; and 
the silence became heavy between us. 

Then she said, "Shall we go?" 

"No, Louise, I have come to stay with this 
vision. I have found the fulness of life at last." 

She looked at the great mountain across the 
valley. 

"Life," I said "has climbed to this high 
moment, through errors and uncertainties climbed 
- to this high moment when the way seems clear 
and I am here --to stay?" 

I clasped both her hands. 

"I think it was meant to be so," she said 
simply. 

I drew her to me. 

"When we were at Acropolis I wished you 
to come here," she whispered, "because I love 
these mountains. They bring the heroic mood. 
And my lover must be a man of the heroic mood." 

'You make him so." 

'There are men that are led by thought; 
there are men that are led by dreams; but the 



416 THE SOUTHERNER 

dreamer who thinks is the leader of them all. 
Great men tell great dreams here, Nicholas," 
and she pointed again toward the blazing horizon. 

"And the dream is come true," I said. 

"Forever true." 

"True forever." 

There was a noise on the path leading to the 
bungalow. I turned and saw a boy with a 
telegram in his hand. 

"This is for Mr. Worth." 

It was from Charles. 

"Professor Bain was killed instantly this mor- 
ning by a blast at the Edinboro quarry." 

We were silent for a time, 'till I found my 
voice: 

"Oh, Love, the master-spirit of our little world 
is gone." 

We stood on the cliff and saw the enfolding 
darkness creep up the vast slope; and, forth into 
the uncharted silence, O Brother, we spoke our 
unheard good night. 

Then we walked home, too happy and too sad 
for speech. 



CHAPTER XXXII 

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER 

MY BROTHER and I have kept the Old 
Place, to which another generation learned 
to make pilgrimages of childhood. We often 
went there with our children in pleasant weather 
for a night of story-telling; and we did not 
forget to tell them about the two old men 
who lie near each other beyond the garden. 
Their great-grandfather and Uncle Ephraim thus 
took places in their minds (as I was glad to see) 
among their heroes. Sometimes they kept com- 
pany, in their young memories, with Agamemnon, 
sometimes with George Washington no matter: 
they were safely placed in those galleries of the 
great down which we may look all our lives 
because we looked down them first in childhood. 
When Nicholas Worth IV. ("he will be the 
haid o' de fam'bly") became old enough to go 
to college, I said to him what my grandfather 
had said to me. He had been about the world 
somewhat, as I had not while I was a lad; and I 
wished his horizon to be as wide as possible. He 
took the cue. I was a Harvard man so would 

417 



4 i8 THE SOUTHERNER 

he be. And now the time had come for his 
graduation. 

He knew something of our problems, for, 
though sanitation has begun to clear them up, 
they were with us yet, in milder forms. He, too, 
had perhaps felt some repression in the atmosphere, 
but he had know a freedom of opinion that I 
had won only after many a hard battle. I had 
made plain to him my own struggles, and I had 
told him, as well as I could, what he might expect. 
He might live where he would. He need not 
inherit our misfortunes. I wished him to be free. 

What would he do and where would he live? 

His mother and I were talking with him on 
these subjects on his day of bloom at his college. 
He was now become a man, and he seemed 
well balanced and quiet in spirit. Ah! how 
that wild night of my oratorical triumph came 
back to me with a surging remembrance! Had 
this boy emotions, or was the stock breeding 
down to calmness ? 

That night, when I came in from a dinner 
with some old friends, he was sitting in his mother's 
room at our hotel. 

"Nicholas tells me," said she in tears (I think 
they were tears of joy, but you cannot always 
be sure of the cause of a woman's tears) - 
"Nicholas tells me that he wishes to live in the 
South; for he wishes to serve his own country." 



TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER 419 

" To serve his own country' 9 - the very phrase 
over again! I fell into a dream, and went far 
back into a previous era of existence, and travelled 
over thirty years. I was just returning from 
this journey when I heard his next sentence: 

'Yes, sir, there is nothing so noble as the 
work you have done to build up our people - 
you and Uncle Charles. It is the great task of 
our time. I should not do my duty to seek a 
career elsewhere." 

Patience a long patience even yet; but 
he, too, believes, with the fine instinct of youth, 
that the democratic idea has gradual healing 
in it for all social evils and misfortunes. And 
it seemed to me proof of a high quality that he 
should hear and heed when a hard, long task 
calls him. How long, how hard, no one could 
tell him. 

It is sometimes difficult to recall the long 
journey that we have travelled since the days of 
Senator Barker and Colonel Stringweather and 
Captain Bob Logan and the rest. They now 
seem centuries behind us. 

And yet I see some of the same shadows that 
fell across the paths of men now long dead the 
same shadows across the same paths ; and, although 
the men that now go these ways are not the same, 
yet so nearly like their forerunners are they that 
you cannot put your finger on the calendar at any 



420 THE SOUTHERNER 

one day or year or decade (or century ?) and say: 
" Here men change from what they were." But 
on any day or year or decade you may say: " Men 
are to-day much like their fellows of yesterday, 
except that they have a little wider sympathy and 
a little better knowledge of one another." There- 
fore, every day brings its joy to him who does not 
expect too much. 

And in truth the mill villages this very autumn 
with the fields about them white with cotton, in 
this soft air that invites to easy labour, is a place 
that much-travelled men might envy us; and I hear 
the falling water in the river. These are fund- 
amental forces and for us they mean home; and, 
however far a man may wander, I suspect that 
his home is where his highest task calls. 

And this very autumn, too, when quail were 
thick on the Old Place, I went there with my 
son, my nephews, and a group of their friends 
for a few days' sport. One day it was dark - 
I was sure it would rain. The weather did not 
deter the young fellows, but I decided to remain 
indoors. Besides, I might get a quiet morning 
on the History. I had some time before found 
a copy of "Cotton is King and pro-Slavery Argu- 
ments," which I had brought to the house as I 
might bring back an old piece of furniture that 
belonged there; and, instead of writing, I was 
sitting by the fire reading for my amusement 



TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER 421 

the argument of a once-great bishop to show 
that slavery was divinely ordained. The coloured 
boy came in and told me that a lady had driven 
to the gate and was coming toward the house. 

I went to the door and met her. 

"If I am not intruding" -she began, in 
some confusion, "is is this place for sale?" 

"No, madam." 

"Perhaps I must have been misinformed." 
She was evidently merely finding an excuse to talk. 
"It is the old home, is it not, of Mr. Worth ?" 

"Yes, I am Mr. Worth." 

She had not yet told me who she was. She 
wore a heavy veil. I confess that I was puzzled. 
It had, I dare say, been many a year since any 
strange lady had come here. 

"Mr. Nicholas Worth?" she asked. "Yes? 
I am Mrs. Wheelwright, of Pittsburgh. You do 
not know me ?" 

Then, with a sad smile, she lifted her veil 
and said, "I am Julia Lissa's child, and I 
was a baby here." 

She had come, she said, to see her childhood's 
home and Uncle Ephraim's grave. 

Then she told me her history. 

Tom Warren had again "fought fair." He 
had sent money to complete her education. She 
had lived through her whole girlhood at a school 
in Nashville, Tenn. There she was graduated 



422 THE SOUTHERNER 

and then went to Oberlin College, in Ohio - 
still as a "coloured" girl; but her "colour" 
would never be detected outside the South. 
From Oberlin she had gone to one of the smaller 
cities of Illinois, where she "passed as white," and 
there she became a teacher in the public schools. 
The only person who knew her whole career was 
a good woman in the faculty at Nashville. 

" I tell you," she said, "what nobody else knows." 

She had married a mechanical engineer 
many years older than she, who by an invention 
had become a man of considerable fortune; and 
they now lived in Pittsburgh. She had come 
South for a few weeks "for her health" -with 
no idea that she would reveal her identity to any- 
one. After this pilgrimage to the Old Place, 
she would start home the next day. 

We talked long. We went through the garden 
to see the graves of the two old men. Often her 
eyes became moist as she recalled this or that 
incident of her childhood; and so did mine. 

When she drove away, I sank into as deep 
a reverie as ever overwhelmed a man. This had 
been her home, and there was no human being 
but me to whom she could tell so simple a fact 
without risk of wrecking her own life and her 
husband's life. She had stolen away and made 
a long journey to see it once more. Even to her 
father she dared not reveal herself for her own 



TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER 423 

sake as well as his. He had other daughters 
now very like her, I noticed. 

The young men came in from the hunt. I 
told them that a strange thing had happened. A 
" Yankee" woman had called to ask if the place 
was for sale, and she looked over it, and I had a 
long and interesting talk with her. " Shall we 
sell the Old Place, boys?" 

They looked up with wonder at so absurd a 
question, and we passed from the subject with 
a laugh as we pass by many dark tragedies 
that lurk just behind the hedges of our lives. 

We all hope, indeed, that the Old Place will 
be kept by Nicholas Worths yet unborn; for 
we have made its large hall a library and a sort 
of abbey of the great of our little world; and 
we have put there mementoes and memorials of 
them for our children to see. In one book a 
little biography and volume of addresses which we 
have had beautifully bound you may, if you 
care to, read this inscription that Lady Louise 
and I wrote: 

This to his Inspiring Memory his 
Unquenchable Gayety of Spirit, the Bound- 
less Sweep of his Sympathy, and his 
Conquering Confidence in all the People 
of this Commonwealth, who Owe him a 
Joyful Immortality of Gratitude. 



4 2 4 THE SOUTHERNER 

Therefore to you who read this, if you believe 
(as I do) that our American ideal is invincible 
and immortal and that men may in truth govern 
themselves and give fair play and abolish privilege 
and keep the doors of opportunity open even 
here where fell the Shadow of the one Great Error 
of the Fathers we who have toiled where doubt 
was heaviest now send good cheer. 

THE END 



LEAVE-TAKING 

TF any reader of what I have written 
*" shall find anywhere a single word 
of bitterness, I pray him to rub it out. 
For I have not meant to write such a 
word. Sympathy for all, and for all 
toleration ; pity for many, and for some 
affection; against ignorance and nar- 
row-mindedness, war to the end; but 
bitterness towards no human creature. 

Nor have I ever meant to complain, 
for complaint furthers no man on his 
way. If the world does not please us, 
the least we can do is to try with cheer- 
fulness to make it more to our liking; 
and, the harder the task, the more good- 
will we need. N. W. 

Mttlworth, 1909. 



Page, Walter Mines 
3531 The Southerner 




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